Good Friends Are Good For Your Health
Picture this: you are sitting at home on the couch, trying to decide between going to the gym or continuing to browse Netflix. All of a sudden your phone chirps, you look down, and your friend has texted, “Meet me at the gym in an hour?” You find yourself feeling compelled to put down the remote and go–because of this one simple text. We imagine you have found yourself in a similar position before–feeling more motivated to choose wellness when a friend is right there beside you. In fact, relationships – most importantly, friendships – improve your successes in your social, emotional and physical wellness.
It’s no coincidence that friendship makes fitness more possible. We are more likely to view a challenge as less daunting when with others rather than when we are alone. The Journal of Experimental Social Psychology confirmed this when performing a study in which students wearing heavy backpacks were placed at the bottom of a steep hill and then asked to estimate the steepness of the hill when they stood with a friend and then alone. Those who stood with a friend estimated the steepness of the hill to be lower than those who stood alone. Dr. Dennis R. Profitt, one of the authors of the study said, “Social support changes how we perceive the world and how our bodies work.”
According to the Mayo Clinic, “good friends are good for your health.” Friends can help increase your sense of belonging, boost your happiness – which in turn reduces stress, improve your self-confidence and encourage you to maintain or start a healthier lifestyle. Friendships provide a sense of camaraderie and, when it comes to fitness, accountability. For example, have you ever taken a group exercise class, such as yoga, and noticed you’ve accomplished much more than you would have if you had done it on your own? You probably felt both inspired by others in the class and a sense of responsibility to complete the exercises. Either way, it helped you finish that class, right?!
The importance of relationships when it comes to wellness applies to the health care professionals you interact with, too. Having a good relationship with your healthcare provider will help you increase your general wellness and improve quality of life. A positive doctor-patient relationship is one that encourages open, honest communication and is built on trust. When your doctor listens to your concerns, truly listens and acts on those concerns, you are more comfortable sharing information with them. Additionally, you will be more likely to trust their recommendations or plan of care. Just like a best friend needs to always make time to lend an ear, so should your physician. This ensures they see the big picture of who you are as a patient–and a person.
From choosing healthy meal options (delicious zucchini pizzas!), to making small, easy changes to support wellness, and tackling fitness with a friend, we encourage you to be active in your pursuit of health. Chiropractic care is one of the important aspects of feeling better so you can live better. With benefits such as improving your quality of sleep, boosting your immune system and helping with chronic pain, chiropractic care is an essential piece of the wellness puzzle. Our goal is not only to partner with you on your path to feeling better, but also to help you thrive.
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