Good friends – the secret to a long life

For many of us, spending time with friends is just part of everyday life. Friends can help you enjoy the good times and support you during the bad times. It is even recognised that people with strong social relationships are more likely to live longer.
It’s not surprising, therefore, that the social support of family and friends can help people with osteoarthritis feel better and perform better.

The good news is, the benefits of friendship are available to everyone, regardless of age or health. Also, even if you live alone, you can be just as capable as others of having a strong friendship network. Consider joining a local exercise group, a hobby group or volunteering to meet like-minded people.

Clearly, we should be open to making new friends and never take our current friends for granted. Here are some simple tips for keeping friendships strong.

    • appreciate your friends – give them time and attention and show your gratitude for their friendship
    • be a good listener – take a genuine interest in their lives
    • be forgiving and compassionate – even friends make mistakes
    • be trustworthy – don't abuse confidences
    • be unconditional in your friendship - don't feel jealous if your friend has other friends.

Isn't it reassuring to know that friendship is not only fun, but benefits our health and well-being?