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Why We Need Our Friends

If ever you needed a good reason to reach out to your friends today, how about the fact that great friends make you happy and healthy.

Your friends, the ones you really connect with, along with loved ones and family members have an affect on even your immune system. The opposite is also true of relationships that break you or drain you; they will have a negative effect on many areas of your life, including your immune system.

Psychology Today lists some of the benefits of strong social bonds, as an improvement in physical health and psychological well-being, a strengthened immune system and a 50% increased chance of longevity. “One telling study showed that lack of social connection is a greater detriment to health than obesity, smoking and high blood pressure.”

99FM’s MYD Heart spoke to Lauren Voges, an internationally accredited Coach and the Founder of Latitude Integral Coaching and Development based in Windhoek, to find out a bit more about the phenomenon of friends. Lauren explains, “our happiness, really comes down to our relationships.”

A Harvard Medical School study that monitored thousands of people over more than 75 years, found happiness is contagious in friendships. The lead on the study, Robert Waldinger, explains in his TedTalk that “People who are more isolated than they want to be from others find that they are less happy, their health declines earlier in midlife, their brain functioning declines sooner and they live shorter lives than people who are not lonely. And good, close relationships seem to buffer us from some of the slings and arrows of getting old.” See his TedTalk below.

Lauren advises that two simple things that you can do today to connect more deeply with others today is to :

  1. Put Down the Phone

Lauren explains that for true relating we need to connect with one another and this requires us to pay attention to each other. Putting down the phone when you are with friends or in social environments, means you are really engaging with the people/person you are with. This goes a long way in building trust and friendship.

2. Pick Up the Phone

Lauren explains that sometimes we get so busy we forget to reach out to others. Be that our friends, parents or siblings. A call to our loved ones without an agenda, just to reach out to them, goes a long way in building relationships. This also applies, Lauren explains, when you need help. Pick up the phone and call a friend.

Watch the TedTalk on the Harvard Medical School study by Robert Waldinger,  here :

For the Psychology Today article, Connect to Thrive, click here

Find Lauren through her website by clicking here