Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Why a Friendship Today Helps Keep the Doctor Away

Photo of three friends chatting

You live in a busy world.

There are appointments to keep, deadlines to meet, and the household to take care of. When things get a little too hectic, it can start to affect your sleep, eating habits, and overall health. According to a recent study at Brigham Young University, the key to reducing stress and improving your health might be found in your address book, not the medicine cabinet.
The study claims that a stagnant social life can be as harmful as smoking 15 cigarettes a day or being an alcoholic. It also says that not having friends is twice as detrimental to your health as obesity and worse than not exercising.
While none of those things are good for your system and hanging with your buddies won’t cure the flu, looking for ways to include others more just might add years to your life.

Why not enlist a friend to help?

We all know that exercise is a great way to relieve stress, but sometimes hitting the gym can be a little intimidating. The key is to get a workout buddy to join you. Sweating off your stress is much easier when you have someone there to help keep you moving.
The buddy system is also a great way to explore the wild. Enjoying the beauties of nature by hiking, boating, swimming, climbing, biking, or just going for a walk is not only relaxing but also a lot safer when you’re among friends.
Working on hobbies with someone is another great way to take your mind off the day-to-day grind. It gives you a chance to focus your time and talent on projects you enjoy with people you relate to.

The benefits extend beyond the obvious.

Whatever you decide to do, whether it’s watching movies, playing sports, or just getting together to chat, friends can help you unwind when things get tense. They motivate you to step outside of your comfort zone in productive ways, encourage you when you fall short of a goal, and celebrate all the little victories along the way.
Exercise, laughter, and a positive outlook can all help to reduce your stress as well as add life to your years.

Original Post on The Melaleuca Journal