Health Benefits of Choosing Good Friends

     An author, researcher, and humanitarian, not only have I come across the benefits of friendship in my work, but I’ve experienced them personally. It’s important to be aware of other research which suggests that one should be careful to select positive friends, as the stress that comes from bad friends can negate the health benefits of having their friendship.

     Julianne Holt-Lunstad, PhD, an assistant professor of psychology at Brigham Young University, has found that dealing with people who arouse conflicted feelings in us can raise blood pressure more than dealing with people we don’t like. Participants were hooked up to portable blood pressure monitors, and Holt-Lunstad and her colleagues found that blood pressure was highest when people were interacting with someone they had mixed feelings for. What especially surprised Holt-Lunstad was that these interactions caused higher blood pressure than those with people the research subjects felt completely negative about. She explains, “We suspect that people we feel positive toward can hurt us that much more when they make a snide comment or don’t come through for us because they are important to us. Friends may help us cope with stress, but they also may create stress.”

     Having lots of friends can boost your immune system, help you survive longer after a heart attack, fight serious illnesses such as cancer, and increase your life span. With such positive advantages, you should make sure to increase your number of friends, but also keep in mind the importance of avoiding stressful, low-quality friendship and seeking out positive companionship.

Tina Turbin

Posted in Advice, Children's Book, Friends, women
Tagged , , , , , ,

13 Responses to Health Benefits of Choosing Good Friends

  1. Becky says:

    I find this is so right. There’s actually SO much stress you can get from having bad, “toxic” friends. Friendship is important, but good friendship is key.

  2. Elizabeth says:

    This is really a fantastic article. I’ll be passing it on to others!

  3. Georgette says:

    This is very true; it isn’t just friendship that counts, but as Becky says above, good friendship. These good friends offer support and encouragement and encourage you to be a better person.

  4. Tiffanie says:

    I think it’s entirely worthwhile (and after reading this article, I think it would also be good for your health) to get rid of your fair-weather friends, especially the ones that make you feel bad about yourself, even when they’re doing it “for your own good.” It’s good to “clean house” like this now and then and spend your time with your true friends that support you no matter what and make you feel great about yourself!

  5. Laura Ann says:

    I think with social-networking tools, making friends is easier than ever, but maintaining real-life friendships can be a little tough. I will make the extra effort now to really spend time with my girlfriends rather than just chat online. Thank you, Tina!

  6. Geri Oakley says:

    Thanks tina you send such a positive message about friendship!

  7. Melissa says:

    I know that hanging out with friends is a great mood booster of mine, which is also supposed to be good for your health too.

  8. Mary Lou says:

    Yes yes yes! I am so blessed to have the friends that I have who have positive attitudes and are so inspiring in every way. They make me strive to be a better person!

  9. Flora says:

    thanks, tina. these friendship pieces are great!

  10. Amanda Thompson says:

    If this is true, then I will have very few health problems!

  11. Monica says:

    Yay…but I’m still waiting to hear that there are health benefits to eating chocolate, drinking coffee, and going on Facebook!

  12. Felicity says:

    Yes this is great for kids to read. If they learn now how to choose good friends, then they will be more likely to have them in the future.

  13. Becky Lombracker says:

    You know, it’s really hard especially to find good friends if you get in the habit of not understanding sincerity. A person may tell you he’s got the best of intentions and only want to help, which is what gives people “mixed feelings” I think about a person. I think people like these, rather than the clear-cut bad guys, are those we really need to watch out for.

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