Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Friends Help You Live Longer

Me and My Bestie Tracy R.
I’m not sure if I want to live a long life, but I do know that I want to live a good one. According to an article I recently read in Men's Journal Magazine, “Nearly all the research into healthy aging has found that the key to a long, happy life is not diet or exercise but strong social connections or friendships. Loneliness accelerates age related declines in cognition and motor function, while a single good friend has been shown to make as much as a 10-year difference in overall life expectancy.”
That isn’t surprising to me, but it is interesting. The article goes on the say that men have greater difficulties in creating and maintaining friendships than women. Although, if I can draw on my experiences and those of others I know, while women have no problem in creating friendships, sometimes we have serious problems in maintaining them. Some say that it's because we are too jealous-hearted, petty, or catty. If you watch reality TV that’s very easy to believe. Women on those shows are full of drama and always fighting. They were friends or at least friendly toward one another at the beginning of the season and by the end they can’t stand one another. Even in my own life, I’ve realized that when women have problems with one another instead of talking in out we often just stop talking to one another. Often, it’s over something quite silly. Years of friendship down the drain over a misunderstanding or hurt feelings. It’s quite sad, if you ask me. We must do better ladies simply for the sake of living well into our 90's, if nothing else. (-:

The article also says that  “loneliness is just as harmful as not exercising, smoking 15 cigarettes a day, and alcoholism, and fully twice as bad as being obese….Isolated people tend to exercise less, eat poorly, and drink too much.” One study found that loneliness in and of itself is a killer, “Lonely people have chronically elevated levels of stress and fear hormones cortisol and epinephrine .” Wow! I have to get more friends…FAST.
I for one am happy to know that the fountain of youth has always been as close as our BFFs. We can spend thousands of dollars on plastic surgery, Botox, anti-aging creams and medical procedures designed to help us look and feel younger but if we really want to maintain the kid in us we simply need to develop meaningful friendships with one another. Although, I’m sure none of that will matter if we don’t maintain proper diet and exercise, but I can truly see how happiness can play a part in longevity.

In my opinion, it is especially important that we single women have good friends. It helps to keep us from becoming desperate and dating any man who comes along so we won’t be alone. It is our good friends who will ask us why we are dating someone who isn’t good for us. They can provide an objective opinion when we are contemplating whether or not to date someone seriously. It is their love for us as a true friend and their desire for us to be happy that will  allow them to tell us he’s a keeper or drop that loser regardless of if it will make us angry. And it’s our ace that will bring over our favorite fatty foods and hand us tissues as we cry if that loser breaks our heart. She might also tell us to go get fabulous and take us out to party and get drunk to numb the pain for a few hours. So, next time you look in the mirror and notice an extra wrinkle or another gray hair instead of going to your favorite drug store or make up counter and buying another product, call your BFF and invite her to lunch.
Question: So what are your thoughts: Do you believe that healthy happy friendships can help you live longer?

*In case, you wondering why I’m reading Men's Journal, whoever lived in my house before me had a subscription and they have begun sending him copies again. I’m assuming that it’s in hopes that he will renew. I’m actually really enjoying the articles.

Here are some of my other amazing long-term friends!

Me and Anetra B.
Me and Gwen W.
Me and Dorsha J.

Me and my sister Van

My Side of the Single Life is by book author Jae Henderson. Her inspirational romance novels, Someday, Someday, Too, and Forever and a Day are now available in ebook (Kindle and Nook) and paperback. Get her new ebook Things Every Good Woman Should Know Volume 1 on Amazon.com or Barnesandnoble.com. 

1 comment:

  1. Friends are definitely the most amazing thing in this world. Good friends are always there for us and they keep us happy. I'm glad I have the best friends out there.