The Health Benefits of Friends

friends walking on a pathThis is a good post to write on a Friday. According to Real Age, studies have shown that having friends can keep you healthy. Regularly interacting and having fun with others keeps you young and healthy. This is no surprise, because first-and-foremost, we are social animals.

Despite pretty much everybody (from many religions to public education) telling us that reality is about knowing things, I would argue that our human reality is about relating to people. Knowing things is great, and my college degrees (and student loans) remind me regularly that I do value knowledge, but we can’t forget relationships either.

This research isn’t really a surprise, but it is something teachers can easily take for granted. We are told “don’t be friends with students” and “it is inappropriate to be friends with your colleagues.” I understand the merits of each statement, and can partially agree. However, part of our modern jumpy, regulation-crazy, society is that we immediately sterilize all relationships and exclude the dreaded “f” word from our vocabulary. We are asked to objectively and stiffly relate to all kinds of people.

In our modern world it is very easy to be friendless, or to have 2000 friends on Facebook but to be very lonely in reality. In the future, I will post some ways to make friends easily. Until then, consider the possibility that friends are pretty much the most important thing you can have. If work, curriculum, etc, is overtaking your time to relate to others, has your life gone totally off course?

I highly suggest stopping by our sister site The Popular Man, to get some ideas about how to make friends. Everybody wants friends, and if you can be that cool, fun, and empathetic person everybody is looking for, you will have more friends than you know what to do with.

About David Bennett

David Bennett is a teacher, author, and speaker. His articles receive over a million hits per year and have appeared in a variety of publications. He is co-owner of a communication company, and he also writes for The Popular Teen and other sites. Follow him on LinkedIn or Twitter.