Friendship – A Simple Antidote for Heart Health

by | Aug 7, 2020

It comes as no surprise that we need social support for our well-being, the benefits are endless. Simply put, friendships help reduce anxiety and stress. According to Julianne Holt-Lunstad, professor of psychology and neuroscience at BYU, “Being around trusted others, in essence, signals safety and security.” Furthermore she says “when we perceive our world as threatening, that can be associated with an increase in heart rate and blood pressure.” She says over time, these effects can lead to hypertension, which increases the risk for cardiovascular disease.

We’re all too familiar with the social challenges these Covidtimes have brought into our world but perhaps it’s a reminder to nurture our friendships and not allow so much time go by before reaching out. Just schedule a call if that’s what it takes in your busy schedule, you’ll be SO glad you did! I scheduled a call with my long-lost college buddy and was reminded of what it was that brought us together from the start. We just took off right where we left off. In the end, my heart felt so comforted, it’s no wonder friendships are good for the Heart!

3 women standing in sunflower field

Need to find some new friends? Yes, a little more challenging in Covid-times but investing some energy now will likely pay off big, especially when it’s safe to congregate again! Let your passion guide you toward activities and people. Love hiking? Love art? Love music? Love dogs? Love reading books? Just keep doing what your heart and soul love, find like-minded folks through Nextdoor, FB, Local Events pages,…. Lay a foundation and as our world starts to get back to some normalcy, get up enough courage to meet up with these enthusiasts and enjoy your passion together. It’s easier to enjoy meeting new people when you’re in a setting that you already love. It’s a win – win. If you don’t strike up any friendships at least you’ve enjoyed the activity!

Too extrovert for you? Ok then, I’ll leave you with this…

Be a kind neighbor when you can be. Try to find Gratitude in your daily life. When a friend reaches out, be sure to tell them how much it means to you. Keep that good feeling going and reach out to someone you haven’t in a long time.

Remember, what’s good for the soul is good for the heart!

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