Why We Need Good Friends
The older we get, the more important our friends are to our health and happiness. That’s the conclusion of two newly published investigations from a Michigan State researcher who analyzed information on relationships with friends and family from more than 270,000 people of all ages from nearly 100 countries. Results showed that overall ties with family members and friends were associated with better health and happiness and that as we age friendships become more important to health and happiness than family relationships. Researcher William Chopik also found that among 7,500 older adults when friends were the source of strain, survey respondents reported more chronic illnesses, but when friends were supportive, the respondents were happier. Chopik noted that a few studies now suggest that friendships “predict day-to-day happiness … and ultimately how long we’ll live, more so than spousal and family relationships.” His prescription? “Keeping a few really good friends around can make a world of difference for our health and well-being. So it’s smart to invest in the friendships that make you happiest.”
William J. Chopik. “Associations among relational values, support, health, and well-being across the adult lifespan.” Personal Relationships, April 19, 2017; 24 (2): 408 DOI: 10.1111/pere.12187
Also in this week’s health bulletin:
If you are tired of too many prescriptions – and have had enough of taking medications for ailments that may not require them – then my new book may be for you: Mind Over Meds looks at the problem of overmedication, the science that shows drugs aren’t always the best option, as well as helpful, reliable integrative medicine approaches.