Beat Stress with Friendship & Community
Your connections to loved ones are crucial to keeping stress at bayWhether you spend time with your friends exercising, sharing a meal, or swapping stories about your stressful day, you are relieving stress. In a Dutch study, fourth-grade kids who had been excluded or rejected at school were found to have elevated levels of cortisol during the school day. They also had a smaller decline in cortisol over the course of a day than their peers who were hanging out with friends.
Adults need their best buddies, too. Researchers at the Gallup polling organization found that people who said that their best friend worked with them were seven times more likely to be top performers at work. Their recommendation for maximizing stress relief: Aim to spend at least six hours a day connecting with friends, family and colleagues. That may seem like a lot, but it includes at work, home, on the phone, e-mailing or any other form of communication.