So I was supposed to be doing some serious food blogging this week but I’ve been a bit distracted.
I’m so excited.
My best friend Is back in town and hopefully this time for good! (last time she was whisked away to Paris by a French man! Tres romantic!)
I truly have the universe to thank for bringing her into my life… Oh! and my big cousin Phil who marched a very nervous me on to the grounds of my new school and took me straight up to a girl saying “this is Kate, she’s cool, she’ll look after you”.
And so our friendship began.
Together we navigated our way through school, boys, hormones, some serious 80’s perms, college, jobs (we always worked at the same places, the boss just got it, we were a package deal!)
Then in our early twenties we decided it was time to take on the world and embarked on the biggest adventure of our lives.
Although job opportunities and love eventually put land and sea between us our bond has never been broken.
We are soul sisters connected by the heart♥
We all know that the good health prescription is eat a healthy natural diet, exercise regularly, manage your stress ect. ect. But recently a host of research has added another thing to that to do list….. Friendship
And that’s because of the amazing health benefits that come with it.
Researchers have found that having even one close friend that you can confide in can extend your life by as much as ten years. Numerous studies also show that recovery from major health challenges such as a heart attack or cancer are enhanced through friendship. I can definitely vouch for that one!
One of our most basic fears as humans is being alone and whether your friends live close by or in a different time zone, just knowing that they are there and you can pick up the phone or Skype provides great comfort and a sense of always feeling connected.
Other great benefits of having good quality friends are:-
- Lower rates of depression
- Lower levels of distress
- Greater resistance to colds
- Better psychological and physical wellbeing
- Reduced risk of death from cardiovascular disease
Good friends seem especially helpful for the heart as they can help relieve stress, a well known contributor to heart disease. Stress encourages inflammation in the arteries which is the first step towards atherosclerosis (clogged arteries). Studies have also found that people with strong social ties generally have fewer inflammatory chemicals in their blood.
“The Australian Longitudinal Study of Aging” looked at one thousand five hundred seniors, women and men, for a full decade. Among their findings was that having good friends is more likely to increase longevity than close relationships with family members and adult children.
The study subjects with the largest number of close friends outlived those with the fewest by 22%. Even major life changes such as the death of a spouse could not erode the “friendship advantage“. What makes these findings exciting is that while anyone’s number of family members is limited we can expand our network of friends for as long as we live.
But as we know……. Not all friendships are healthy. Another study done in 2008 published in “Hormones And Behaviour” found that having friends who excessively talk about themselves and their problems all the time – what researchers call co -ruminating- can actually ramp up your stress levels. So this is an easy one, ditch those toxic friends (you know the ones) or spend as little time as possible with them. Remember this is for the sake of your health!
Another great benefit of having good friends is that they boost your self esteem. And we all need that boost from time to time, its good for the soul.
Just knowing that they care about you, support you, are honest (you know that look when you put a dodgy outfit on), value your opinion and accept you for who you are is the best feeling in the world.
Always remember to nurture your true friendships and stay connected.
You might not ever save their life by pulling them from a burning building or drag them out of a wild churning sea, but science is now telling us that by just being a good friend could be extending their life and protecting their heart♥.
Have a beautiful weekend
♦Next week on the blog its all about CHOCOLATE, and when your eating the REAL DEAL its natures number one weight loss and high energy foods.