Candlelit concerts, dark magic and ghost tours: haunting things to do in Dublin this mid-term break
Candlelit concerts, dark magic and ghost tours: haunting things to do in Dublin this mid-term...

Sarah Finnan

World Menopause Day: The definitive guide to menopause signs, symptoms and solutions
World Menopause Day: The definitive guide to menopause signs, symptoms and solutions

IMAGE

‘Deconstructing stereotypes’: The cult witch movie you need to watch on Halloween
‘Deconstructing stereotypes’: The cult witch movie you need to watch on Halloween

Jennifer McShane

The quilted jacket is the staple to see you through winter
The quilted jacket is the staple to see you through winter

Holly O'Neill

This picturesque Victorian Bray home is on the market for €975,000
This picturesque Victorian Bray home is on the market for €975,000

Megan Burns

Sunday Service: There’s a new free self-care series made by women, for women
Sunday Service: There’s a new free self-care series made by women, for women

Sarah Finnan

‘A botanical paradise with spectacular views’: The hotel you need to visit on your next trip to Cork
‘A botanical paradise with spectacular views’: The hotel you need to visit on your next...

Shayna Sappington

‘I’m an obstetrician who became pregnant with twins via an egg donor. This month they turn 5’
‘I’m an obstetrician who became pregnant with twins via an egg donor. This month they...

Amanda Cassidy

Period dramas on Netflix and Amazon Prime to watch while we wait for ‘The Crown’
Period dramas on Netflix and Amazon Prime to watch while we wait for ‘The Crown’

Erin Lindsay

The world’s most sustainable travel spots revealed
The world’s most sustainable travel spots revealed

Amanda Cassidy

Image / Editorial

Having Friends Fights Physical Pain “Better Than Morphine”


by Jennifer McShane
03rd May 2016

Group of friends dancing and having fun together

Having Friends Fights Physical Pain “Better Than Morphine”

There are myriad reasons?why we value and appreciate our friends. They enrich our lives; pick us up when we’re feeling down and are gatekeepers to the deepest of secrets. We could go on, but we know they enhance our lives and according to a new study, they also bolster our ability to withstand physical pain.

Yep, a newly published Oxford University study indicates that those of us with larger social groups have a higher pain threshold.

Published in Scientific Reports, the research?tested the theory that we feel happy after hanging out with friends partly because social interactions trigger endorphin activity – the chemicals released by the body that help regulate pain and pleasure – which leads to positive emotions and happy feelings aplenty.

Endorphins are known to be a potent natural painkiller, and according to the new data ?indeed more so than the pain-relieving opiate drug morphine.? Impressive, no? As a result of this, researchers decided to test ?whether pain tolerance [?] predicts social network size.?

Researchers used a non-invasive physical pain test, asking 101 healthy adults to squat against a wall with knees at a 90? angle and a straight back for as long as possible. Participants also filled in questionnaires about their two closest friendship circles?people they spoke to every week and those they spoke to monthly. The study found that those with larger social networks could endure the pain for longer?and that the network of people contacted monthly was a particularly strong indicator of pain tolerance.

This suggests that people with more friends have a higher level of endorphins, which act as natural painkillers.

Another interesting aspect was that when they took into account different levels of fitness, they also noticed that fitter people tended to have fewer friends – is this because exercising?takes up more time or because a gym session produces more endorphins meaning that you don’t need friends for your feel-good factor? Researchers could not say.

The author of the study Katerina Johnson explained: ?These results are interesting because recent research suggests that the endorphin system may be disrupted in psychological disorders such as depression. This may be part of the reason why depressed people often suffer from a lack of pleasure and become socially withdrawn.?

?Studies suggest that the quantity and quality of our social relationships affect our physical and mental health and may even be a factor determining how long we live.”

We know it’s quality, not quantity that matters when it comes to friendships, but if this encourages?you to expand?your social circle, go forth and do so. It’s better for your heart too.

Via The Telegraph

Also Read

Having Friends Fights Physical Pain “Better Than Morphine”
EDITORIAL
8 easy ways to keep your brain healthy that you can do right now

Your brain health is just as important as that of the rest of your body, says psychologist and neuroscientist Dr...

By IMAGE

Having Friends Fights Physical Pain “Better Than Morphine”
EDITORIAL
This spatchcock chicken recipe will make your weekend

This is a great way to get a juicy roast chicken, bursting with flavour.     Bord Bia’s Spatchcock Chicken...

By Meg Walker

Having Friends Fights Physical Pain “Better Than Morphine”
EDITORIAL
5 houseplants we guarantee you can keep alive

For those who buy houseplants with the best of intentions and end up killing them, here’s a selection you’ll be...

By Hannah Hillyer

Having Friends Fights Physical Pain “Better Than Morphine”
EDITORIAL
Attending multiple weddings this year? How to save money as a guest

These days, going to a wedding is the equivalent of going on a short holiday in terms of cost. From...

By Jennifer McShane

Having Friends Fights Physical Pain “Better Than Morphine”
EDITORIAL
How to let go of toxic people, and the signs to recognise

By Niamh Ennis

Having Friends Fights Physical Pain “Better Than Morphine”
AGENDA, EDITORIAL
No, the Olympics haven’t given athletes ‘anti-sex’ cardboard beds

Despite some media coverage, the beds are actually focused on sustainability as opposed to intimacy restrictions. Recently, distance runner Paul...

By Jennifer McShane

Having Friends Fights Physical Pain “Better Than Morphine”
EDITORIAL
Mandy Moore climbed an active volcano at dawn… while pumping

Hiking a mountain and breast pumping – now, that’s what we call multitasking at its finest. Mandy Moore enjoyed an...

By Sarah Finnan