Health benefits of friendships include longevity and relief from depression. Human beings are not solitary creatures. We have evolved in shared living situations since ancient times, joining together not just to mate but the hunt and share food, work as teams gathering foods or crafting utensils. Even in modern times, humans need each other and thrive better with they have companionship. Research has even shown that having friends is good for your health and contributes to longevity.
The benefits of interpersonal relationships
Health benefits from friendships improve with good communication. Whenever people communicate, they form an interpersonal relationship. These can be a brief encounter or a lifelong friend or mate. The deeper the relationship, the more satisfying it is for most people. Single individuals and married couples all need to develop skills to maintain healthy relationships. Relationship help you heal from childhood wounds, and allow a person to decompress and relax during stressful times. Couple also are better off financially as they share many expenses such as the cost of a home. This financial security also brings a reduction of stress. Therapists have determined that the interdependency of a relationship is good for psychological health.
Successful communication starts with listening
Good communication is important for maintaining good relationships. One of the best ways to build communication is by learning how to listen. Listening with your ears is one part of listening, as is paying attention with your eyes. New types of communication via email and the Internet can cause confusion when the message is not sent face to face.
Marriage and longevity
Studies have shown that being married leads to a longer life. Even though the number of people who live with each other without marriage has increased from 400,000 to over 7 million between 1960 and 2011, married people are still living longer than those people who are not married. Research conducted at Michigan State University in November 2012 studied over two hundred thousand people. Married couples had less cancers, flu, heart disease, depression, Alzheimer’s disease, and stress. For those people who had heart bypass surgery, those who were married survived for 15 years longer than those who were single. Marriages that cause conflict, has been found to be detrimental to health. A study at Cardiff University showed that marriages or long-term relationships lead to better emotional and physical health, as well as healthier lifestyles. The mortality rates in seven European countries were found to be ten to fifteen percent lower for married people. Men’s physical health is usually better when they are married. It has also been shown that married women are five times less likely than single women or divorced women to be a victim of a violent crime. Men who are married are four times less likely. However it is pointed out that it is better to be single than to be in a stressful relationship.