From the moment children step out onto the playground and start interacting with other kids, friendships are a key part of life. But we all know that making friends as an adult is seemingly impossible when you reach your adult years. Maybe you've moved to a new city, or buried in a new career, or family planning, and you're no longer surrounded by people who immediately love all the same things you do. No matter the reason, making friends and sharing a connection with like-minded people, is important. Friendship isn't just about fun, fellowship and emotional health -- having friends can improve physical health, too.

Researchers who study friendship and companionship have uncovered many of its health benefits. We want to share just how good strong friendships can be for you.

Friends Keep Your Mind Sharp 

In a 2017 study, researchers at the University of Michigan surveyed over 271,000 adults and found that valuing friendships was related to better functioning, particularly among older adults. 

Friendships are often built by having common interests, stimulating mental engagement and encouraging quick thinking - all of this helps to keep the brain active.

Friends Encourage Healthy (And Unhealthy) Behaviors 

A 2007 study published in the New England Journal Of Medicine sounded an alarm that “Obesity Is Contagious”. But this study failed to mention the other side of that coin -- that people also take cues from their friends who exercise, eat well and prioritize their mental health, as a separate 2011 study confirmed.

The lesson here is to be aware of the people you choose to surround yourself with. Turns out mom was right -- you are who you hang out with.  

A Good Support System is Key When Implementing Change 

Change is hard and friendship is often an undervalued resource when it comes to building a support system. When you surround yourself with like-minded people who are invested in your happiness and success -- you’ve already won half the battle. Having a strong group of supporters cheering you on through all the highs and lows can make a huge difference!

All of this to say, we’re so thankful to have a community of folks who are like-minded, supportive and encouraging. Thank you for being a part of our community.