Here’s why online friendships are good for your mental health


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Friendships can significantly influence your health and comfort, but developing and maintaining friendships is not easy. Everyone knows the significance of communal connections in life and ways to grow and nourish lasting friendships, but sometimes it’s easier said than done.

 

A true friend is there for you all of the time, not just when you need them. In friendships, self-disclosure during times of need is critical. A good buddy will not abandon a friend who calls for help in the middle of the night. Anyone in your life who provides strong community support is eligible for the benefits of true friendship. It makes no difference whether your social network resembles a partnership with many close family members or whether it is comprised entirely of people who are not biologically related to you; any good social support is advantageous.

 

Advantages of online friendships

Good friends, in real life or online, are good for your health. Friends aid you in celebrating good times and come up with support during difficult times. They put a stop to isolation and despondency while also providing you with a chance to offer acquaintanceship too.

 

Friends also:

 

  • Elevate your feeling of purpose and connection
  • Improve your contentment and diminish your stress
  • Ameliorate your self-assurance and dignity
  • Help you cope with your traumas, e.g. divorce, illness or death of a loved one
  • Encourage you to develop healthy habits and break the unhealthy ones

 

 

Online friendships are also beneficial to your general health. Adults who have excellent social contacts have a lower chance of dejection, high blood pressure, and an unhealthy body mass index, among other issues. Indeed, studies have shown that elderly people with significant communication and social connections live longer than those with fewer connections.

 

What number of friends should you have?

Quality takes precedence over quantity. While having a diverse group of online friends and associates is beneficial, you may feel better and be healthier if you create intimate, meaningful ties that will help you in both good and difficult times with a few of those connections.

 

How friendships support Physical and Emotional Health

Friendships help people feel secure and comfortable

Whatever you do with your online pals, simply feeling connected – as though you are part of a group – is excellent and beneficial by itself. The sense of belonging satisfies a critical need for emotional well-being and aids in the reduction of depression and despair.

 

Online friends also have a certain advantage over real-life friends. Sometimes you can be too embarrassed or shy to share your feelings with someone in-person. But sharing them with an online friend is easier as you don’t look that person in the eyes and can focus on expressing your thoughts more thoroughly. Additionally, it may be easier to talk to someone you’ve never met hence you’re not really worried about them judging you or passing your secrets to other people you both know.

 

Friends help boost self-esteem

Friends can help you feel more confident and self-assured, may those friends be online or physical. A good friend is someone who brings joy to you and makes you feel more confident. You want to have people with whom you can share and appreciate your success.

 

Online friendships help cognitive health

Having a big social network protects one’s consciousness and lowers one’s risk of dementia.

A good conversation with a close friend protects your brain health, and having someone who you can count on in good and bad times is likely to give you higher levels of cognitive resilience. It’s simple to find friends that share any hobby in the online world so that you can always have conversations on different topics and not get stuck in a rut. Also, taking one step further, online friends can help you develop your knowledge about other cultures which will positively affect your outlook on the world.

 

Friends assist us in dealing with all kinds of tragedy

Consider the last time you experienced a difficult situation, such as the death of a loved one or the loss of something meaningful to you (such as a job, a pet, or a relationship). It’s difficult for lonely people to get back on track. The most important aspect is definitely having individuals in our lives and social support in assisting persons who are going through painful events.

 

And, as stated before, sometimes it’s easier to share with someone you have never met than with a close relative. At the end of the day, we all go through different experiences and the internet allows you to find a person who goes through something exactly similar to you.

 

Friends promote healthy behaviour

Having positive interactions with people who make healthy choices can motivate you to do the same. They can also speak with you if they are concerned about your safety. Friends are the ones who see you when you drink too much or gain weight because they see you even if online and talk with you every day.

 

Staying socially connected may lower the risk of chronic health issues

Our ability to communicate is critical to living a healthy lifestyle. Inflammation may be linked to social isolation and loneliness. Inflammation levels that are too high can contribute to heart disease, arthritis, stroke, and Alzheimer’s disease. Having strong social interactions has been related to a reduced incidence of depression as well as healthy blood pressure and weight.

 

Friendships that are healthy tend to make us happy

At the end of the day, it all comes to one simple reason: a robust social network predicts happiness and well-being better than a fitness tracker that measures heart rate and physical activity.

 

Some advice

 

Even though online friendships are extremely beneficial, not all people in the online world have good intentions. Some of them are fraudsters who take time to gain your trust and later scam you. That’s why you shouldn’t trust people blindly and share your whole life with them as scammers know how to take advantage of that.

 

Here’re some tips that will help you:

 

  • Never share personal information such as your credit card details or your address with someone you only recently met
  • Don’t share any intimate photos or messages
  • Check if your new acquaintances are being honest about who they are with the help of Nuwber
  • Don’t share your passwords and other key information
  • Avoid sending money or pricey items

 

Conclusion

Many people believe that online friendships aren’t meaningful and beneficial. That is not so. Spending time with online friends is not only enjoyable, but it also has numerous long-term health and emotional benefits.

 

 


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Kossi Adzo

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