Die Macht der Freundschaft

The power of friendship

It's clear: good friends are balm for the soul. With them you can steal horses, have a lot of fun, experience beautiful and sad things and exchange ideas. But did you also know that close friendships can have a positive effect on health and reduce stress?

Good friends – good immune system

Real friends reduce stress and boost self-esteem. This in turn ensures well-being and thus strengthens our immune system. Staying in touch with friends reduces the risk of cardiovascular disease, depression and even Alzheimer's. Relationship researchers have discovered all of this. People who regularly spend time with their friends and interact with them view these days in a more positive light and generally had higher self-esteem than people who tend to be more loners. Psychologically stressful problems and experiences can be dealt with much better if you talk to a friend who is understanding and supports you in the situation. With a person who understands our fears and worries, we feel comfortable and secure and can cope better with our life circumstances.

Strong through friends

The following experiment by a Freiburg psychologist shows that friends can help people overcome difficult situations better. The participating test subjects were supposed to give a presentation in front of the camera and then solve mental arithmetic tasks without warning. Some of the test subjects were allowed to take their best friend with them to the test, some were not. You can guess three times which of the participants did better in the experiment. That's right, the ones with the emotional support of their friends. They were significantly less stressed than those who had to come to the experiment alone. This was determined by their explicitly lower levels of the stress hormone cortisol in their saliva. It is assumed that the presence of a familiar person increases the release of the hormone oxytocin, which reduces fear and builds trust.

Friends – family that you choose for yourself

There is a saying that says you can't choose your family, but you can choose your friends. This may also be the reason why friendships can compensate for a lack of relationship with one's own family. A study found that people who did not have close ties to their family, but had good friends, were as happy as people who had strong family roots. This study also showed that those participants who had close relationships with their relatives usually had fewer friends. The test subjects with sparser family ties were more likely to have a large circle of friends. We've always known it: friends are family.

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