5 Ways Adult Friendships are Beneficial to Your Health

Whether you grew up understanding the value of having a “pal and a confidant” from the Golden Girls or learned the importance of “getting by with a little help from my friends” from the Wonder Years, it’s safe to say that friendships are beneficial in many ways.

Friendships can have a major impact on our development when we are young, especially during early childhood years. Making friends at a young age helps children to develop their emotional and social skills and boosts their well-being, happiness, and self-confidence. 

These friendships become an even bigger part of our lives as we grow older and move away from our family units.

Adult friendships have the ability to determine our emotional well-being and, in many cases, even our health. Even though forming and maintaining friendships often becomes harder as we age, the benefits you gain from having close friends make the challenge more than worth it. 

Why Adult Friendships Are Important

Research has found that friendships can have a significant impact on your quality of life and health outcomes. What does that mean? Having just a couple of close friends who you can confide in and spend time with can make your life feel more fulfilling. 

Benefits of Adult Friendships

More importantly, friendships in adulthood have a measurable effect on health, with research finding that isolated and lonely people are more likely to suffer from blood pressure, stroke, and heart disease. Here are some of the benefits you can gain by maintaining your friendships as you age;

     1. Reduced Social Isolation and Loneliness

With isolation from the recent pandemic, or with people moving hundreds and even thousands of miles away from their communities for school and work, many of us have lost the human connections that nourished us in our youth. If you are willing to take the risk and put yourself out there, making friends as an adult can reduce feelings of loneliness and isolation. 

Good friends are especially crucial to your mental and physical well-being, as they can help prevent loneliness. And contrary to popular belief, you don't need dozens of close friends to avoid loneliness and isolation; Just a few close pals will do. 

     2. Emotional Support

Another major benefit of having close friends as you age is the emotional support they provide. As we grow older, gain more responsibilities, and get bogged down by the often exhausting daily grind, friendships can give us the stability we need and keep us grounded. They do this by providing you with a safe space to express your problems, receive validation for your feelings, and when needed, offer a word of advice or a kind gesture. 

     3. Reduced Stress

Everyone deals with stress in one way or another. Whether it's due to work, relationships, or school issues, we all face and deal with different types of stress in different ways. Chronic or prolonged stress can wreak havoc on your body, causing issues like high blood pressure, heart, and digestive problems, diabetes, insomnia, and poor immunity.

With good friends by your side, however, you may be able to better cope with stressors.

     4. Personal Growth

Close friends who care about you and want you to grow will absolutely help you develop good habits. This can be through giving you advice, referring you to specialists, or even calling you out when you engage in unhealthy practices. In fact, positive friendships can potentially increase your lifetime by helping you kick bad habits and develop healthier ones, even if they involve some uncomfortable discussions with your friends.

Friends can also act as good examples to follow, inspiring you to quit bad habits such as smoking. They may even join you on your journey to give you the morale and encouragement you need to develop a healthy habit, such as accompanying you to a gym. Who doesn’t need a good workout buddy to help you achieve your personal development goals? 

Yoga with Adult Friends

     5. A Sense of Community and Belonging

At the end of the day, humans are social animals. It was a collaboration that allowed us to become the planet's most dominant species and it remains a crucial human need. Developing and maintaining close and fulfilling adult friendships boosts feelings of belonging, especially for adults who don't live close to their families. 

Knowing that you are part of a loving community that cares about you and will provide support when you need it is a great feeling. It gives you the emotional security you need to go out and tackle life's challenges, knowing that help will always be there when you need it. 

When Should You Walk Away From a Friendship?

Not all friendships are healthy and fulfilling. In some cases, friendships that are toxic or unhealthy will cause you more stress and anxiety than they are worth. You may want to consider letting go of a friendship if a friend;

  • Loves gossiping about you and others
  • Manipulates you regularly
  • Treats you unkindly and puts you down
  • Takes a lot more than they give, whether it's emotional or financial
  • Isn't concerned with your feelings
  • Rarely apologizes or offers insincere apologies
  • Makes you feel nervous and uncomfortable

At the End of the Day

It is clear that close, nurturing friendships can have an impact on your health and overall quality of life. They help to reduce stress, boost happiness, and self-confidence, and push us to take better care of ourselves. Having friends won't just benefit your mental health, it can also help keep you healthy and feeling young as you grow older.
Cooking Healthy Recipes with Adult Friends

Speaking of encouraging friends to take care of their health… consider sharing some of these healthy recipes using Great Lakes Wellness collagen and gelatin to help them on their healthy aging journey. Our collagen peptides support your hair, skin, nails and joints* and are easy to fit in your daily routine!


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