Aging is not easy. Life events such as divorce, a death in the family, unemployment or financial set backs may affect you negatively, emotionally and health-wise. However, science has shown that having friends that you age with are good for your health. Psychologically, friends are there for you when you need them, they can help lessen the stress in your life. Studies show that people with friends live longer than people who are alone. Some benefits of friends: decrease in having a stroke, recovery time from cancer is much faster, depression can be warded off better, and your memories last longer. It is up to you to select your friends, and if someone is bad for your health you can drop them. However, if you have a group of friends that you know are good for your mental health, keep them for as long as possible, especially when life gets complicated with work, travel, and family issues. Essentially, having friends is therapeutic. Also this is important for people between the ages of 45 and 65. The AARP has found that individuals in this age group are some of the loneliest people because they do not have a strong friend network. Loneliness can be even more detrimental than depression, as it can cause cognitive decline. If you’re feeling lonely, pick up the phone, send an email, or write a letter to your friend or someone you were close with a lifetime ago, because they may be feeling the same way and may need a friend, this way, both of you will create a positive spike in your mental health and social life.
(From “People Who Possess This One Thing Enjoy Much Better Health As They Age, Science Shows” by Barbara Bradley Hagerty)