Science Confirms That Hanging Out with Your Best Friend is Good for Your Health

What would we do without our best friends? They are the ones who are there with us through thick and thin; they cheer us on through our biggest triumphs, and help pick up the pieces when we face our biggest devastations. And, while we all would surely do pretty much anything for our besties, there’s one thing that, we think, none of us do enough of–actually spend quality time with them!

Sure, when people are young, besties are usually inseparable. Throughout school life and young adulthood, those most coveted friends are often present more than any other person. But, as people mature, so do their responsibilities–careers, marriages, and sometimes even kiddos, too. This means that, as we get older, even the best of friends often don’t spend that same quality time together that they used to; in fact, we’ve even witnessed some besties stop talking to one another for no good reason at all besides ‘general busy-ness’.

It sure is a sad state of affairs for the ‘mature besties’ of the world, but today, we’re providing you with a really good reason why you should stay in consistent touch with your best friend.

According to a study conducted by Northwestern University, the healthiest, happiest elderly folks around credited their longevity to having surrounded themselves with good friends. And, as it turns out, maintaining relationships isn’t just an overall mood-booster, it has also been proven to reinforce episodic memory.

You see, a group of the participants in the study was identified as “SuperAgers,” elderly persons with elite memories. In addition to a laundry list of good lifestyle habits, researchers determined that many in this specific demographic also had very active social lives.

Now, if you are nowhere near the SuperAger club (and, you will be soon–age sneaks up fast!), know that the folks who benefited from this razor-sharp cognitive ability in their golden years, were the very same ones who managed to maintain long-term friendships over a number of years and important life changes.

For the younger set, scientists still maintain that they, too, can benefit from spending time with besties. In an interview with WebMD, Tasha R. Howe, PhD, associate professor of psychology at Humboldt State University, claims that maintaining stable friendships is also a heart and immunity-healthy move.

People with social support have fewer cardiovascular problems and immune problems, and lower levels of cortisol – a stress hormone,” she revealed. “[We] are social animals, and we have evolved to be in groups.

“We have always needed others for our survival. It’s in our genes.”

If all of that evidence doesn’t inspire you to pick up the phone and make plans with your bestie, we don’t know what will. Remember, the key to maintaining an active social life is through communication–and if you don’t reach out, you might just end up needlessly suffering, both mentally and physically!

We’d love to hear your take on these studies. Have you been able to maintain long-term friendships throughout your life? If so, do you have any tips for those struggling to do so? Do you think your friendships have helped your overall health?