When I was still working in Advertising one of my bosses (who just had his third child), said to me, ‘I don’t understand why people always hope for their child to be intelligent, I wish for my child to be social, so he will have a lot of friends’.
I remember thinking at the time this was an odd thing to say (doesn’t everyone want to have a cute, bright child?), but over the years I have quite often thought about him and now I have my own child I wholeheartedly agree with him. Having a good time with a friend creates instant happiness and can make you forget about everything else in life. It counts for myself but also for my toddler; what is his new trampoline if he doesn’t have a friend to jump on it with, laughing, holding hands? What is my day off if I don’t have a friend to go to the beach with? It wouldn’t be much fun at all.
And happiness isn’t the only positive to gain from a healthy social life. Here are some some other priceless benefits of having a close-knit circle of “Best Friends Forever”:
A study conducted by the Center for Aging Studies at Flinders University, Australia revealed that those who have a large network of friends tend to live longer by about 22% (an average of 3.7 years).
Time spent in the company of true friends helps boost your self-esteem and provide you with support. Friends can help you overcome setbacks and heartache, but they will also challenge your thinking and inspire you to be the best you can be. Being surrounded by positive company lowers stress levels and will lead to positive thinking which is associated with lower rates of depression, a greater ability to throw off colds and other common bugs, and a reduced risk of cardiovascular disease.
Also not unimportant; with a good social network you tend to take better care of yourself in the company of your friends. Going out encourages you to look (and feel) your best!
Surprisingly, however, research revealed close family ties or having a strong relationship with your children doesn’t seem to have any effect on the life expectancy of a person. Don’t underestimate the value of a BFF that isn’t bound to you by family ties!
So how do we go about attracting these priceless BFFs? You naturally attract the kinds of friends who are most like you. You get what you give. If you are upbeat, outgoing and (try to) face life’s challenges with a positive mindset you’ll probably find that the same people flock to you. The same is true for being negative. The more you are able to maintain a positive attitude, the more like-minded people you will attract in return.