Your Friends Are Helping You Live Longer

Friends are crucial to our lives for all sorts of reasons, but spending time with them isn’t just fun — it also goes a long way towards improving your overall health and happiness. A new infographic by Happify, a company that provides science-based activities to help build skills to increase happiness, shows all the ways in which your friends are keeping you healthy and helping you live longer. As if you need another reason for more group brunches!

Per Happify, people with strong social ties are actually 50 percent less likely to die early. In fact, research has shown that having an active social life is just as impactful to your health as it would be to quit smoking, and even better for you than regular exercise. Having regular contact with your friends or even just living near them can also have significant effects on your state of mind. Even a brief chat with a friend has been proven to help improve your mood when you’re feeling down. Plus, having a buddy around during a negative experience can actually make you feel less stressed and more self-confident.

Being social is equally important at work, too. Employees who have best friends at work are 43 percent more likely to have received praise or recognition at their jobs in the last week, probably because they’ve proven themselves to be team players. Another bonus? Adding more pals to your group has the same effect on your happiness as getting an increase in income. It’s kind of like giving yourself a mental pay raise — and you get a bunch of new, cool people to hang out with.

For more info, check out Happify.

Image: NBC; Happify