You know having a friend to your house to have a chat over a cup of tea is good fun. But did you know it can improve your life in all sorts of cool ways?
That cup of tea is better for us than a cup of water.
If your first instinct is to put the kettle on when someone comes over, you’re not just engaging in a lovely social ceremony. You’re also improving your health and the health of those joining you. How so? Well, tea rehydrates as well as water does, so you get the benefits of being well hydrated. Moreover, the antioxidants and flavonoids in the tea may even protect against health problems like heart disease, some cancers and the cell destruction caused by free radicals. Some studies have even linked tea with protection against Parkinson’s and degenerative brain diseases.
If you prefer green tea, you’ll get even more health benefits. The fluoride found naturally in tea helps strengthen teeth, and green tea also helps increase bone density – which is great in the fight against osteoporosis.
The antioxidants in green tea may even help speed up your metabolism, so if you go for a walk after your cuppa, you might lose more weight.
Friends can make us live longer.
Friendships have some surprising effects on our health. One study found that women who had ten or more friends were 4 times less likely to die from breast cancer than women with no close friends. Researchers think it’s not just because we can talk about our problems with our friends and they can help us by running errands. After all, the study found that the friends didn’t even need to be nearby to benefit study participants. Just having friends gives us a huge psychological boost that makes our body more resilient.
Other studies have found that having a large circle of friends can help us live longer, make our brains healthier, make our hearts stronger and help us let go of stress.
That’s a lot of benefits, just for being friends. That doesn’t even count the benefits of a chat and a gossip.
Gossip helps society and our health.
Experts think we developed the gift of gossip as a social tool. By warning each other about dangerous situations, objects or people, we formed bonds that helped us build society. Today, that instinct to warn often manifests itself as gossip, as we seek to warn each other about treacherous individuals in the office or awkward situations in our social circles. This reinforces our social bonds, which is of course very good for society, but it also helps our health.
Gossip lowers our stress levels. Essentially, talking to our friends, unloading our thoughts or warning them releases oxytocin, which is also known as the love hormone. It eases stress, reinforces bonds and generally helps us feel better. It’s even better for you if the gossip gets you giggling: researchers compare laughing to a mild workout. It raises our pulse, increases our breath, gets the blood pumping and releases those feel-good endorphins.
Of course, you only get the benefits if it’s the right kind of gossip: non-malicious, fun and genuinely meant to . After all, mean-spirited gossip causes more problems than it fixes.
It’s clear that having your friends over for a cup of tea and a chat is great, but what is your favourite part of it? What else do you like to do with your friends?