Q:

Why do people need friends?

A:

According to Mayo Clinic, friendships can have a large impact on a person's overall health and well-being. Strong friendships provide social support in times of need and decrease the risk of certain diseases.

Mayo Clinic lists the benefits of friendships, which include an increased sense of belonging and purpose, boosted happiness, reduced stress, improved self-confidence, support in times of trauma and encouragement to maintain a healthy lifestyle. Some ways to make new friends are to attend community events, volunteer, extend and accept social invitations, take up a new interest or join a new community. Ways to nurture and strengthen friendships are to accept others, be positive, avoid competing with friends, listen to others and respect other people's boundaries.

Executive Editor Laura Schocker of The Huffington Post says that an active social life can greatly improve a person's health. For example, a highly active social life can reduce the risk of Alzheimer's disease. Friends may also inspire a person to adopt a healthier lifestyle by getting fit and eating healthier foods. Intelligent conversation with friends can sharpen a person's mind and increase mental capacity. Good friends bolster self-esteem and reduce stress, leading to a happier lifestyle. Strong friendships can even increase the odds of a person's survival; a study from Brigham Young University found that a poor social life is more harmful than poor physical health.

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