December 17, 2017, 11:45
Do not have a hundred rubles, but have a hundred friends — the saying goes. A new study has shown that friends can improve a person’s well-being.
Scientists from the University of Oxford came to a sensational conclusion: the more friends, the better a person copes with … physical pain. The experiment involved 101 healthy people. The scientists found out how many close friends each volunteer had. As close friends, we meant people with whom the volunteer communicates regularly (at least once a week) and trusts his secret thoughts.
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It turned out that people with a large number of friends increased the activity of endorphins. These hormones are not only responsible for joy and pleasure — they regulate pain and give pleasant sensations. Endorphins are also associated with the establishment of social bonds. It turns out that people with extensive connections can endure pain better.
People with a large number of friends have increased endorphin activity. These hormones are not only responsible for joy and pleasure — they regulate pain and provide pleasant sensations.
Endorphins are natural painkillers, stronger than morphine, says Keith Johnson, study leader. During the experiment, volunteers were asked to sit down with their backs pressed against a wall. Their knees were bent at an angle of 90 degrees (sitting on a chair was imitated). It is quite difficult to sit like this: very quickly the legs begin to numb and hurt. However, people with more friends were able to sit in this position longer, coping better with pain due to increased endorphin activity.
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Recall that just two months ago, scientists from the same Oxford University said: the number of friends in social networks does not correspond much to the number of friends in real life.
People with more friends coped better with pain due to increased endorphin activity.
About 4 thousand people were interviewed. Imagine, each of them, on average, had about 150 friends on social networks. But in life, people communicated with 25–30 people, and even then irregularly. It is known that friendships gradually fade away in the absence of communication. Perhaps social networks can slow down the process of alienating people from each other, scientists suggest.
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