Our hormone balance appears to be affected by social support. Adequate social support is related with increased levels of oxytocin, a hormone that serves to reduce anxiety and stimulate the parasympathetic nervous system, slowing down reactions. Social interaction also causes release of dopamine, which gives us pleasure and motivates us to continue doing what makes us feel good.
Social support can also have positive effects on our mental health by reducing the level of stress hormones in our body. The relationship between social support and reduced stress has been shown in many studies conducted over the last few decades. Stressful events often lead to depression and anxiety disorders. However something as simple as having someone you can talk to about your problems can give you an extra boost when dealing with difficult situations.
Finally, social interaction itself can help relieve stress. Being around others reduces the amount of energy we need to maintain during stressful times. Also, talking about our concerns and listening to other people's stories reduces their impact on us.
It is important to remember that not all forms of social interaction are equal when it comes to their effect on reducing stress. Spending time with family, friends, and colleagues is vital for our well-being, but so is privacy.
Other studies have revealed the benefits of a social support network, such as improved capacity to manage under stressful situations. Lowering the impact of emotional discomfort fostering long-term mental health.
Having someone you can turn to when you need help dealing with a difficult issue or moving out of a bad mood cycle helps minimize the effects of stress. Supporting others can also give you an outlet for your own feelings and help you process them more effectively.
Social support has been shown to be one of the most effective ways of reducing the impact of stress on the body. The more support you receive, the less likely you are to develop stress-related illnesses.
It is estimated that about 80% of our happiness is determined by genetic factors and 20% by our environment. It is also known that positive emotions such as joy, love, and laughter increase the amount of oxygen we breathe, release chemicals that make us feel better, and actually reduce our risk of disease. On the other hand, negative emotions such as fear, anger, and sadness decrease our levels of oxygenation, cause us to breathe more rapidly, and increase the activity of certain enzymes in our bodies that can lead to cancer and other diseases.
I'd want to tell you about one of the most underappreciated features of the stress response: stress makes you social. To comprehend this aspect of stress, we must first discuss oxytocin, a hormone that has already received as much attention as a hormone can receive. Oxytocin is best known for its role in childbirth and breastfeeding, but it is also associated with social behavior.
When you are stressed, your body releases large amounts of cortisol and adrenaline, which help you respond quickly to threats in the environment. It also releases small amounts of oxytocin. Scientists have discovered that when humans or other animals are exposed to stressful situations, they will release more oxytocin if they are also given the opportunity to interact with others. This interaction can be as simple as holding hands with someone you care about or even just looking at photographs of loved ones.
Oxytocin has been shown to play a role in both maternal and paternal care. Maternal care refers to behaviors performed by mothers toward their infants. These behaviors include nursing, grooming, and protecting the infant from danger. Paternal care is defined as actions taken by fathers toward their children and includes activities such as providing protection and nurturing. Studies have shown that changes in the mother's oxytocin level correlate with how much she engages in these behaviors, while similar studies have not been done on fathers but there are indications that increased levels of testosterone may play a role in encouraging paternal care.