Friday, February 09, 2018

The Positive Health Benefits of Friendship

In honor of February being National Friendship Month - I thought it was fitting to talk about "The Positive Health Benefits of Friendship".




Studies have found that strong social supports improve a woman's prospects for good health and longevity. Conversely, loneliness and a lack of social supports have been linked to an increased risk of heart disease, viral infections, and cancer, as well as higher mortality rates overall. Two researchers have even termed friendship networks a "behavioral vaccine" that boosts both physical and mental health.
There is a large body of research linking friendship and health, but the precise reasons for the connection remain unclear. Most of the studies in this area are large prospective studies that follow people over time, and while there may be a correlation between the two variables (friendship and health status), researchers still do not know if there is a cause and effect relationship, such as the notion that good friendships actually improve health. A number of theories have attempted to explain this link. These theories have included that good friends encourage their friends to lead more healthy lifestyles; that good friends encourage their friends to seek help and access services when needed; that good friends enhance their friends' coping skills in dealing with illness and other health problems; and that good friends actually affect physiological pathways that are protective of health.
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Scripture:
  • 1 Corinthians 15:33 - Do not be misled: "Bad company corrupts good character."
  • Proverb 22: 24-24 - 24 Do not make friends with a hot-tempered person, do not associate with one easily angered, 25) or you may learn their ways and get yourself ensnared.
  • 1 John 4-7 - Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God, and whoever loves has been born of God and knows God.
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