More and more studies are coming out showing that friendships create good health. Why isn't exactly clear, but I have a few theories.
First, is that laughter is proven to be a healthy activity - it opens up blood vessels, decreases inflammation, releases hormones that feel good, and it improves immunity. So, it makes sense - we laugh when we are with our friends and therefore friendships make us healthier!
Second, there are hormones that are released when we care deeply about someone. These hormones make us feel good, needed, capable, and connected ( all necessary for the tribe's survival, if you are thinking in evolutionary terms). They force us to get out of our heads and into our hearts (metaphorically speaking). Our thinking causes stress and tension and the resulting problems, but feeling love for another allows us to focus elsewhere and therefore keeps us well!
Third, friendships get us out of the house and involved in the world around us. We have things to discuss, experience, do with each other. This allows the brain and the body to get out of patterns that are unhealthy and repetitive. The brain is actually supposed to find patterns and make them easier to use (think learning to drive- practice makes it less and less necessary to think each step of the process, until much of it becomes automatic). When we get ourselves out there and experience the perspectives and lifestyles of others we grow and evolve ourselves!
So, what are you planning with your friends this week and how will you be creating a happier and healthier you!!