Updated: Jul 4
We all know how enjoyable it can be to spend time with friends. Few things can make the hours pass as quickly as being in the warm company of people you care about. And it turns out that being with friends isn’t just enjoyable – it’s good for your health too.
Fascinating research indicates that your social network has a huge influence on various aspects of your health status. Your friends tend to spread
health behaviors and emotions to you, which in turn can dramatically alter your likelihood of experiencing a variety of health conditions.
Being with your friends is fun – and, if you choose the right friends, it could even save your life.
Health status diffuses through a social network
Researchers have known for years that various negative health factors can diffuse through a social network, spreading from person to person. Behaviors like smoking, and even health conditions like obesity, have a strong tendency to spread in this way.
But studies have also shown that positive factors can diffuse through a social network. Positive health behaviors, like getting more exercise, can easily spread. Emotions like affection and happiness also make their way through a network of people.
How predictive is your social network?
Researchers have shown that your social network can predict:
38% of your stress levels
65% of your happiness
55% of your positive attitude
54% of your overall health
That’s a huge impact on your physical and mental health coming from your friends. Nearly two-thirds of your happiness can be predicted by your social network, and more than half of your overall health can also be explained in this way. The impact of our relationships on our health is much greater than many people realize.
Invest wisely in your friends
The lesson from this research is two-fold. First, it’s important to choose your friends wisely. If you want to be healthy and happy, it’s important to choose friends who also make health a priority. Spending time with people who bring you down could seriously impact your overall health. Choose to invest your time in people who make you feel good,
and whose influence on you is positive overall.
For some people, it can be challenging to find a community of people who are on a journey of self-empowerment, transformation, and improving their health. This is why joining a program like Mind-Gut-Skin Academy’s Align & Reframe program can be so powerful. I’ve carefully designed this program to nurture a supportive community, so you can spend time with people who have a positive impact on your health journey.
The other lesson of this research is more general. It’s very important to invest in your relationships. Make sure that you prioritize spending time with people who you care about. Nurturing those relationships will benefit your own health as well as theirs. Becoming healthier isn’t a solitary journey – it’s a communal one.
Truly, we’re all in this together.