Friends aren't just good for borrowing sugar from or for telling you that you have wing sauce on your cheek. Friends are the ultimate de-stressor. Friends can remove over 90 percent of the aging penalty you face after a major life event accelerates your aging.
Research shows that one of the most vital elements in reducing the negative health effects of stress is to have strong social networks. So gossiping, playing poker, having girlfriend spa days, playing golf, and going to happy hour aren't all just fun and games. They're mental medicine. So are religious and church groups. We recommend that you talk to friends or extended family daily as a way to strengthen those networks. Of course, your posse isn't just good for managing chronic stress. In periods of major stress, they can be the anchor you need when you're rocking in stormy seas.