The science of friendship
Friends are important. We may think of them as such to higher or lower extent but science backs up these beliefs. They are in fact so important that it’s been proven that good friendships can extend life expectancy and lower chances of heart disease. Research also found evidence of the release of oxytocin in primate brains during social interactions meaning they make us feel all warm and fuzzy and refer to our earliest experiences with our very first care givers. The feeling of being welcomed, understood and accepted is a very basic one, without which we may often develop mental disorders or simply not feel so good.Friendship helps us survive and make us feel good – for me, being an only child living abroad, it is definitely very true. If I haven’t had my friends I wouldn’t have many people around me I could rely on.
In 2006, a study of 3,000 nurses with breast cancer found that women without close friends were four times as likely to die from the disease as women with 10 or more friends. And interestingly, proximity and the amount of contact with a friend wasn’t associated with survival. Just having friends was protective. In many studies, friendship has an even greater effect on health than a spouse or family member. In the study of nurses with breast cancer, having a spouse wasn’t associated with survival.
Me, you and everyone we know
So I would like to thank all my wonderful friends here, there and everywhere. Thank you for putting up with my moaning and for being there for me. As scientifically proven – you’re keeping me alive!