Why male friendships benefit men’s health
Men and their male friends – better known today as a “bromance” – are a crucial part of men’s health. Science even says that men hanging out together are an important health and happiness aspect for men just to be able to connect with the guys. But, for many men, developing strong bonds with other men is not as easy as it looks. Making friends as an adult is more complex than it was as children. Adulthood brings responsibilities involving family, jobs, and other commitments that consume time and the effort needed to nurture long-standing friendships. Plus, making new friends or strengthening old relationships involves taking a risk and making yourself vulnerable.
However, not forging ahead to seek out male friendship, can have negative effects on physical and psychological health. Women are naturals when it comes to friendships. Women understand that social connections are vital to their well-being and make concerted efforts to spend time with other women.
Men need to do the same. So how often is necessary for men to get together with other men? That depends on each individual man as what’s right for one man is not the always the answer for another.
What counts is the quality of the relationship. If men get together to spend time watching a baseball game or to play a round of golf, and enjoy that time with one another, then that is considered quality time spent.
The important thing for men is to have those friendships with other men they feel close to. They may get together weekly, monthly, or yearly, but when they do, their friendship can have significant health benefits which include the following:
· Male friendships reduce stress
Getting together with buddies is a great way for guys to laugh, relax and share troubles helping shrug off the stresses of everyday life. Maybe men don’t get as detailed oriented in talking about everything going on in their live like women may, but just being together creates an atmosphere of understanding and bonding only men can share.
· Male friendships improve mental outlook
There is scientific research supporting the importance of being around friends to cheer us up. A 2013 study from the University of Concordia in Montreal found that the effect of being with the guys is physiological as well as psychological. Being around and making new friends releases oxytocin which improves mood and fights depression and feelings of low self-esteem.
· Male friendships reduces risk of dementia
When men juggle a variety of male friendships, it stimulates the brain keeping it fit. A 2011 study by the Rush Alzheimer’s Disease Center in Chicago found that older men who were socially active had a 70 percent reduction in the rate of cognitive decline compared with men who were less social.
· Male friendships promote physical fitness
Most men find themselves bonding the best when it comes to sports and athletic activities. That is why working up a sweat is part of many bromances and for good reason. A University of Pennsylvania study found that joining a gym and exercising with a friend resulted in a greater amount of weight lost than going it alone.