“One should always have time for friends” Unknown. The Okinawa of Japan have some of the longest lifespan of anyone on this planet. True, they have a diet rich in omega fats, eat plenty of earth grown vegetables and fruits, exercise till over one hundred years old, yet the common factor in their longevity is something most take for granted. And the answer is?? Friends! They are some of the most social people on our earth and it is this bond that scientists feel give them added years. To be liked and appreciated, to be thought of and included by friends, is one of the most positives of life. like insurance, but much less expensive, having people in your life that you can count of in the crunch, are there for you through everything, gives one the sense of great security. As we age, these benefits impact our lives even more. It has been researched , that chronic loneliness is associated with high blood pressure, heart disease, depression, sleep difficulties, dementia, and cognitive decline. The regions where people live the longest are called Blue Zones. In these areas you will find people who make family time and friendships a priority In accordance with a study at the University of San Francisco, loneliness contributes to early mortality in adults over the age of 60. Further, military offspring often find themselves as loners or have difficulty fitting in with the many moves that are required by military enlistees. So, in conclusion, friendships are the number one ingredient to happiness and a longer life. If your child is shy and afraid to be social, you might think about having them join a sports where there is intermingling and the possibility of new friendships that even works with parents as well. If your retired or near retirement, a senior community may be the best option as almost all have an abundance of activities where one can be social. Go forth and get involved. Your life will be better because of it. Volunteer, teach a class for free or lead a trip. You will find that you will have many things in common with those you have not yet met.