Are friends beneficial for our health?

Women tend to rely on friends during times of stress. When I ask women what is their greatest support during times of stress one of the top three answers is friends. Why is that? A UCLA study shows that when women are under stress, the hormone oxytocin is released. This hormone causes us to gravitate toward “tending or befriending”. We tend the children/family or see our friends. This action of tending or befriending causes the body to release more oxytocin. Estrogen also enhances oxytocin and increases this stress response. Men however respond to stress differently. Although men do produce oxytocin, the male hormone testosterone dampens the “tending and befriending” effect. This may explain why when women are stressed we call our friends or gather family around, but when men arestressed [...] Read more