Did you know friendship is good for your health?
Research shows close friendships – the kind where you share your deepest, darkest secrets, hopes and even doubts about yourself – are not only therapeutic: they can also improve your health.
I read a magazine article last year that said growing scientific evidence indicates friendships and a variety of social networks can lower blood pressure; cut the risk of diabetes and heart disease; even stave off depression.
Admittedly, I wasn’t exactly thinking about my health when I recently took a “girls getaway” to Napa Valley. Picture it: five women, one hotel room with one bathroom unleashed in Wine Country. It certainly had all the makings of disaster. But honestly, it was an even smoother finish than some of the fabulous Pinot Noir we savored. It was a fantastic weekend of bonding, laughing, crying and singing and dancing over some of California’s finest wine.
Three of us work together even sit within feet of each other. But we get so busy at the office we actually end up conversing through the computer! This was a magnificent way to connect in person away from the hustle and bustle of television news.
It’s something we all need to do more often. Scientists say friendships actually help us relieve stress – and we know that less stress leads to better health, right?
Here’s the caveat though: most friendships might actually have a shelf-life of seven years. New research shows most people go through 7 year friendship cycles. So your BFF’s today probably won’t be the same seven years from now.
I got a little bummed when I read that because the last thing anyone wants to invest in is a superficial friendship, right? But when I started thinking back to my own friendships now compared to 7 years ago and it pretty much supports the theory.
Makes perfect sense that as our interests change we tend to gravitate to people who share them and so our circle of friends gets wider and wider.
It reminds me of a couple of quotes. The first one, I read. It said: “Friends are like stars, you don’t have to see them to know they’re there.”
The other quote I heard from a friend who passed away much too young last year. “Friends are the family you get to choose. So choose wisely.”
My new favorite comes from my news director – who says it actually comes from a song she used to sing as a Brownie and Girl Scout:
Make new friends
But keep the old
One is silver and the other gold.