This week I want to highlight just one of numerous benefits of creating a strong social network around you.
Earlier this year a number of universities in the USA undertook a study that had 2 main parts. In part 1 over 200 volunteers were asked to rate their social life and connectivity. How many friends did they have? What was the quality of those friendships? How often did they socialise? Part 2 then consisted of each volunteer being given nasal drops that contained the virus of common cold.
All the volunteers obviously caught a cold felt a bit under-the-weather for a few days and then they were asked to rate the severity of the symptoms of the cold.
The results were fascinating.
Having analysed the data the psychologists found a link between those people who rated the symptoms of the cold as less severe and the people who said that they were well connected socially. Interestingly it wasn’t the quantity of friends that they had that seemed to be important but the quality. In addition it is worth highlighting that the researchers aren’t saying that the severity of the symptoms are actually different but that the perceived impact on the individual was seemingly affected by the amount of social connectedness the volunteers felt.
So, this week, maybe it’s time to call that old-friend who you’ve not seen for months or make that extra effort to go to that dinner party you really don’t feel like attending as, according to this study as well as many others, it could have a quite an impact on your wellbeing.
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Have a good week,
The Meetology® Lab
Loneliness predicts self-reported cold symptoms after a viral challenge.
LeRoy, Angie S.; Murdock, Kyle W.; Jaremka, Lisa M.; Loya, Asad; Fagundes, Christopher P.
Health Psychology, Vol 36(5), May 2017, 512-520.