Jul 13 2012

This is your body on FRIENDSHIP

Today Meet a pal for coffee, and you”ll come away better equipped to cope with life’s big challenges. “Whenever you spend time with a friend, you’re reinforcing your support system,” says Bliesner, Ph.D. “As a result your self-worth, sense of security, and emotional resilience gets a boost.”

In six months You might catch a few good habits. A study of 3,610 women found that those whose close friends walked for exercise, ate lots of fruits and vegetables, and avoided junk food tended to adopt those traits themselves. The researchers say this positive peep pressure might arise from the human tendency to mirror people we care about. 

In five years You won’t be singing the blues. Socializing is a release valve for stress, a major risk factor for anxiety and depression. In tough times, you need one close confidant to lend a sympathetic ear. 

Get started When life gets busy, social outings are among the first obligations women abandon. Try involving friends in activities you’d otherwise tackle solo, such as exercising or going to a farmer’s market. (facebook, facetime and texting don’t count) -Jessica Girdwain, BHG