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Friendships are one of the most important pillars of the Brainisphere because they can improve life in dozens of different ways.

According to the National Library of Medicine, “social connection is a pillar of lifestyle medicine and can help people maintain a healthy body mass index, control blood sugars, improve cancer survival, decrease cardiovascular mortality, decrease depressive symptoms, mitigate posttraumatic stress disorder symptoms, and improve overall mental health.”

Did you know?

  • Friendships are known to deliver more than a dozen brain, mental, and physical health benefits.
  • Friendships can help you do much better with career and life.
  • Friendships are great for heart health and for managing stress.
  • Friendships can fuel self-esteem and self-confidence, and a sense of place and identity.
  • Friendships can challenge your brain to grow by encouraging you to learn more and think differently.
  • Friendships trigger oxytocin, the love and relationship hormone, and can also help trigger dopamine and serotonin, central to mood.
  • Friendships can be a cure for loneliness and loneliness can be so unhealthy that according to the Surgeon General, it’s the equivalent of smoking 15 cigarettes every day.
  • Friendships help you to be more understanding, sympathetic, and empathetic, all of which can lead to a much happier and more centered life.
  • Friendships can help foster a stronger immune system.
  • Friendships can give you the courage to try new things, which is essential to both brain health success in life.
  • Good friends and social connections might also be key to longevity.
  • According to research by Stanford University, good social connections are the most common predictor for the happiest life.

Not everyone can make friends

Did you know that nearly half the US population has few if any close friends? Friendships don’t come easy for many, and especially if you’re shy, introverted, busy, or suffer from something like social anxiety.

But lifelong friendships can be formed if you just put in a little effort. One of the best ways to encourage your kids to form these lifelong friendships is to encourage them to volunteer more. Not only a great way to meet new people in a safe and neutral environment, but volunteering improves mental and emotional health in more than two dozen different ways.