As we get older, many changes can take place such as losing our spouse, experiencing a decline in mobility, and becoming less active and social. These factors can all contribute to increased feelings of loneliness which can have an adverse impact on our health and wellbeing. Continue reading to find out why aging with friends is important and what benefits can being around friends in our golden years bring about.
Aging with Friends
Long-term happiness requires strong friendships. Even experts acknowledge that lifelong friendships can improve your health. You stand to gain various benefits from friendships such as the following:
- Support Physical Health
- Wards off Isolation
- Increased Feeling of Purpose and Belonging
- Lowered Tension
- Elevated Happiness
- Increased Sense of Worth and Confidence
As you get older, maintaining meaningful friendships become even more important, according to research. The most unusual finding was that, among older persons, those who reported having close friendships were the only ones who reported a link that was significantly correlated with excellent health. Additionally, there was a higher risk of chronic illness among those who reported toxic friendships.
Support Physical Health
Friendships improve our physical health. Studies have shown a remarkable difference between older adults who stay social and those who mostly stay on their own during retirement. The stark difference was witnessed in those with chronic conditions like emphysema or diabetes and had to keep up with daily prescription schedules. Individuals who were socially active had a higher tendency to achieve better health outcomes in spite of their complex medical issues. Through socialization with friends, they are more dedicated to taking better care of themselves so they could continue participating in social activities with their friends. Another study showed that socially active individuals have stronger immune systems to help them recover quickly from illnesses and get better quality sleep at night.
Wards Off Isolation
Retirement isolation is a very regular occurrence that can catch you off guard. Although friendships and relationships enrich our lives so much, maintaining them can be difficult. It might be challenging to stay in touch with those folks when you move away, have a new job, have kids, and so on because you no longer see them as frequently. Friendships must be actively pursued if they are to endure. Our emotional health may suffer if we are lonely. Humans are social creatures who must maintain real human connections to survive. Unfortunately, retirees have a higher risk of developing depression once they stop working with this risk potentially reaching 40%. In actuality, social isolation can happen easily during retirement. This is why having friends around is vital to support our emotional health.
Even though having friends around is important, it is equally essential to retain supportive friends. We need to evaluate who our friends are to make sure we are indeed spending them with those who are worth our time and energy. Those who support us, make us feel good about ourselves, and add positive vibes into our lives are the ones worth keeping.