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The Power of Friendships for Overcoming Stress

January 04, 2018

Spending quality time with friends is important, not just for our social lives, but also for health and stress relief.

Most of us relish our time with friends. Even most kids routinely ask for more “play dates.” Still, it’s easy to put friendship on the bottom of our “to do” list.

If your stress won’t let up and you feel like you’ve tried everything, it could be time to call on a trusted friend.

Making plans for a little decompression and fun with friends could be exactly what your health needs.

What Social Connections Do For Health

Whether introverted or extroverted, people need social connection, especially when under stress.

We all go through complicated emotions and have life challenges that we need support with.

At the end of a hard day, sometimes the best therapy is to connect with a friend or group of friends.

Furthermore, there is clear scientific evidence that our social connections work wonders for our health.

A few examples of the power of friendship at work:
  • Having the right social support can help lower blood pressure. A study published in the International Journal of Behavioral Medicinefinds men and women with high or borderline high blood pressure have lower blood pressure when they are the most satisfied with their social network.
  • Canadian research finds social support can decrease depression, anxiety and improve mental health. If you’re starting to feel down or stressed, reach out to friends right away for TLC.
  • Research finds connecting with friends can help if you’re in physical pain or recovering from trauma. Social support has even been found to reduce risk for PTSD, and build more resistance to stressors.

Have Trouble Making Friends? Do Social Situations Make You Uncomfortable?

If making friends and social settings are tough for you, challenge yourself to make healthy changes.

Loneliness has been found to lower immune defenses, and increase risk for heart problems and stroke.

You can have your alone time, but it’s important to network and connect with other people, too.

A few tips to get started:

Reach out to a few of your current, trusted connections. You may find your friends miss you and want to stay in touch.

Sign up for a class or group that interests you. This is an easy way to connect with people with similar hobbies. A few good examples: hiking, gardening, foraging, making jewelry or art.

If you’re working on your health, get involved in an exercise or healthy cooking class. Following a healthy lifestyle is easy and fun when you’re surrounded by like-minded people. Australian research shows the healthier your friends are, the healthier you are as well.

Don’t be afraid to try new things. If a friend suggests a sport, game or new hobby, give it a chance. If it’s a challenge, even better! Problem solving is much easier when you work as a team.

Find Your Tribe and Thrive

While connection is critical to health, it’s important to develop the right support system.

Be discerning when choosing your friends. As you move forward, work to let go of Toxic Relationships that cause you stress.

Find people who inspire you, make you laugh and feel good about yourself. This is your tribe. Look for similarities in lifestyle, but also be open to differences.

Finding and connecting with the right people can change your entire life, increase your health, and open up possibilities you may have never thought possible before!


  • Bonior, A. (2017, March). 11 Surprising things good friendships do for you.
  • Retrieved from Psychology Today,
  • Five ways your friends can help you reduce stress. (2016, July). Retrieved from The Pip,
  • Scott, E. (2016, Sept.). How and why you should maintain friendships. Retrieved from Very Well,