We humans are inherently social beings. We desire to connect, bond, and be in the company of other people. If, however, we live without friends, alienated from community, we are bound to become not only emotionally unhealthy, but also physically sick, which is now confirmed by research.
A Harvard University study of women found that being without friends can damage our health, as much as smoking!
According to the researcher of a University of California, Los Angeles, study:
“The subjective experience of social distance reaches down into some of our most basic internal processes–the activity of our genes.”
The results of the study were that “the genes of chronically lonely people showed over-expression in immune system activation (such as inflammation) but under-expression in antiviral responses and antibody production,” which help us be healthy.
Therefore, if we wish to become healthier, we need to also become more friendly, by opening our physical and mental arms to embrace the presence of others in our lives.