Social gerontologist Dawn Carr writes that meaningful relationships with others who share our values can not only make us more resilient to negative feelings, it could protect us physiologically. One study showed volunteers, for example, have lower levels of inflammation.
She offers this test to see where you're at:
Outside of your family, how many people would you be willing to call in the middle of the night if you needed help, and how many would be willing to get out of bed and come rescue you? And, what about if you met one of those important life goals? Who would you call? If you don't have at least two people on both of your lists, perhaps you should take more seriously the role of social relationships in your life. And, if you don't have any clear life goals from which to evaluate the way you spend your time and who you spend your time with, perhaps you should step back and take stock. If you pick the right friends, they could very well play an important role in your longevity. So choose carefully…
Do you have at least two friends on your speed dial to rely on?
Your Friends Impact How Long You Live [Psychology Today]