They can seem to be an infuriating drain on your energy, wallet or even your patience,but friends are people that only add to your happiness and well-being. Your friends have a cumulative positive effect on the quality of your life. With more and more people living alone, young professionals increasingly moving to different cities, it is friendships that help them keep their bearings. Friends occupy a variety of roles in our lives, from emotional to exciting, they can occupy a variety of emotional spaces within us. It is through these friends that we learn new perspectives about things and meet different people that can go a long way in enriching our lives. In times of trouble,friends form the perfect oasis to help you weather the storm assailing you.

Here are some ways that having friends can be helpful to you:

Decreases the risk of dementia

A study published in the Journal of the International Neuropsychology Society say that the risk of dementia decreases by up to 70% for people with an active social life. It was shown that having more friends decreases your chances of mental disorders like dementia. Each point of increase in your social activity can mark an drop of up to 47% in the rate of decline of cognitive function.

Friends keep you fit

Another important reason to add to your list of friends is the simple fact that they actively keep you fitter. Through pointed remarks at your bulging gut or through participating with you in exercises and workouts, friends help you remember the importance of staying fit. A study published in the International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity found that friends have a direct impact on your exercise and dietary patterns.

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They boost your self esteem

Friends are your most important support system after your family. Be it an idea for a business or a life-changing decision, friends stick by you and ensure that you have the support you require so as to get through the change.In fact, The Los Angeles Times reports, that having a happy friend boosts your chances of being happy by at least 15%.

They can help you live longer

No kidding, having strong relationships with your friends and family can increase your odds of living longer by up to 50%, according to a research by the Brigham Young University. Do not take your relationships for granted, not having a healthy social life is even more harmful than not exercising and as harmful as being an alcoholic.

Make you feel like you belong

Having a strongly knit group of friends can help you feel like a part of something greater than yourself. For those living away from home and family this becomes their greatest support system and often cements life-long relationships. This sense of belonging can give a great boost to your mental well-being and physical health, but more than anything it gives you a sense of happiness.

Hone your thinking

It is not just idle gossip that you indulge in with friends,conversations with friends can range over a variety of subjects and works wonders for the cognitive and rational faculties of the brain. Scientists have proven that there is an indelible link between social intelligence and general intelligence.

What do you think?

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