How good is a good friend? We love our mates for heaps of reasons obviously, but did you know they can actually help to keep you healthy? Positive social connections have a profound influence on our well-being, but work wonders for our physical health too.
Firstly, being around groups of people helps to increase our anti-viral immunity through exposure to different viruses and germs. Sort of yuck, but sort of good.
But, the cool part? Studies* have shown that loneliness and social isolation can trigger chronic inflammation in the body. Inflammation is a natural immune response, but when we have too much of it, it can contribute to a range of health issues (like a compromised immune system, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and even certain cancers). Strong social connections help us avoid feelings of loneliness and isolation, keep those inflammation risks down.
Few things in life are as important as our relationships. Connection and community are the greatest gifts we get, so go out and hang out with the special people in your life.