For those of you with aging family members, listen closely. Their social circle has a greater impact on their health than do family members.
Healthy relationships with friends and family were the best determinants of good health and happiness, in general, but friendship alone was the only solid predictor of positive global health in the later years, in part, because friendships prevent loneliness which offset the losses of family and other friends.
While this may be a controversial set of findings, it’s important to note that we choose our friends and not our family.
I was waiting in a doctor’s office in Philadelphia, thumbing through a Readers’ Digest, and came upon this quote, the author of which is long forgotten. “Friends are the family we make for ourselves.” Just perfect.
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