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Mind & Mood
The buddy system
Friendships can help you stay socially active. Here’s how to make new ones and maintain old ones.
- By Matthew Solan, Executive Editor, Harvard Men's Health Watch
- Reviewed by Howard E. LeWine, MD, Chief Medical Editor, Harvard Health Publishing
Loneliness is one of the greatest health risks facing older adults. The antidote to loneliness is more social engagement — and the best way to be more social is to develop friendships. "Making new friends and maintaining existing friendships makes it easier to be more social, since friendships often include doing activities one-on-one or as part of a group," says Dr. Richard S. Schwartz, a psychiatrist with Harvard-affiliated McLean Hospital.
Science has drawn a clear link between an active social life and better health. Regular social interactions are associated with greater happiness and life satisfaction and lower risks for depression and heart disease.
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About the Author
Matthew Solan, Executive Editor, Harvard Men's Health Watch
About the Reviewer
Howard E. LeWine, MD, Chief Medical Editor, Harvard Health Publishing
As a service to our readers, Harvard Health Publishing provides access to our library of archived content. Please note the date of last review or update on all articles.
No content on this site, regardless of date, should ever be used as a substitute for direct medical advice from your doctor or other qualified clinician.
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