Friends in our lives make us more resistant to pain!

Friends in our lives make us more resistant to pain!

Friends in our lives make us more resistant to pain!


Friendship can have a surprising number of positive health effects. In addition to our experience, science confirms. Maintaining friendship can reduce the risk of discomfort and heart disease, and is even linked to the extension of our life expectancy.


The new aspect that highlights science links sociality with pain tolerance. Or, to put it simply, friends help us endure physical pain. What seems to be hiding behind this psychosomatic connection? Our endorphins are answered by researchers.

In particular, these small protein groups produced by the hunger of our brains are related both to the pain circuitry in our body and to pleasure. You probably already know that most endorphins are released through exercise, sex, chocolate eating and laughter!

 And what happens then to our organization practically? These chemicals are adapted to the same receptors in the brain as morphine does, preventing sensations of pain or discomfort caused by physical activity, for example.

 So friendship can mobilize the same process in our bodies, the researchers show. Sociality, contact with other people, the family naturally or a wider environment, trigger the production of endorphins. That is, our body functions in a way that ... rewards us for our sociality, which, if I think about it deeper, is associated with biological given that man is a social entity. So when this element is missing in our lives our body reacts, making us feel bad that we don't care enough.

 In the study, the researchers analyzed data from 100 participants. Participants reported key information (age and gender) and completed the survey reporting two main circles of friends: people they contact once a week and people they contact once a month . Participants were then asked to rest on a wall, walking 90 degrees - as long as they could stand.

 By adjusting to fitness indices, the researchers found that tolerance to physical pain at the given time was greater in the category of participants with the second-largest circle of friends. Researchers have interpreted this relationship to greater production of endorphins, which helps them as we said to withstand - unconsciously obviously - more pain.

In addition, they found it particularly interesting that people with better physical health and stressors had a smaller circle of friends, probably because they satisfy their need for endorphins with other motivations in their lives, or are just students and do not spend the necessary time to maintain their friendships. This is, of course, another aspect that certainly requires deeper research and study.

The important finding, however, is - in the researchers' view - the relationship of endorphins to mental illnesses, such as the depression that characterizes antisocial behavior. Also, little is known about the adaptability of the endorphin production system at older ages where brain plasticity decreases.

So there is certainly a connection between endorphins, sociality and tolerance for pain, but more in-depth research is needed to get more information on the mechanisms involved. This will make the findings of great practical value, especially for people with chronic pain and trauma.


By Dr Angel,

Aggeliki Koskeridou

Holistic Doctor – Counseling Psychotherapist

Doctor of Naturopathic Medicine

MSc Health Psychology

insta: dr_aggelikikoskeridou_official 



Katerina B. - A. Johnson, Robin IM Dunbar, (2016), Pain Tolerance Predicts the Size of the Human Social Network, Scientific Reports,

Adam S Sprouse - Blum, Greg Smith et al, (2010), Understanding Endorphins and Their Importance in Pain Management, Hawai'i Medical Journal, / PMC3104618 /



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