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Anyone who has a best friend knows that we just feel better, in ways both tangible and intangible, when we’re around people who we love and who love us.  Well, it turns out that  researchers are starting to think that the “feel better” that we experience when we’re hanging with friends is a genuine health phenomenon. 

In other words, friendship is good for your health.

Check out Tara Parker-Pope’s column in the New York Times for a survey of the research that shows the health benefits of friendship (which include fewer colds, possibly because those with strong friendships have lower stress levels).  For example:

Last year, researchers studied 34 students at the University of Virginia,
taking them to the base of a steep hill and fitting them with a
weighted backpack. They were then asked to estimate the steepness of
the hill. Some participants stood next to friends during the exercise,
while others were alone.

The students who stood with friends
gave lower estimates of the steepness of the hill. And the longer the
friends had known each other, the less steep the hill appeared.

“People with stronger friendship networks feel like there is someone
they can turn to,” said Karen A. Roberto, director of the center for
gerontology at Virginia Tech. “Friendship is an undervalued resource. The consistent message of these studies is that friends make your life better.”

Do you think time with friends makes you a healthier person – physically as well as emotionally?  Meanwhile, check out some other friendship goodies here on Fresh Living.

Friends: A Reason, a Season, or a Lifetime?

How to Break Up with a Friend

Quotes that Celebrate Friendship

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