According to new research, people with more friends and social connections feel less pain.
Researchers at the prestigious Oxford University in England, found that having plenty of pals triggers endorphins which bind to opioid receptors in the brain. This gives us the ‘feel good’ feeling we get when we’re hanging out friends.
Katerina Johnson, a PHD student in the psychiatry and experimental psychology department at OU, said the study rested on the theory that naturally produced endorphins are actually better at eliminating pain than morphine.
“If the theory was correct, people with larger social networks would have higher pain tolerance," OU reported, "and this was what their study found."
They found that after studying the test group’s number of social connections, and then putting them through a pain test – those with a wider circle of friends could endure more pain than the others.
However Dr Robert Sternberg told Broadly that these findings are not necessarily “meaningful,” as there is an issue determining causality. In other words, they couldn’t be sure that friendship caused the reduction in pain.
In February, the British Journal of Psychology revealed that clever people tend to have fewer friends, and actually having to socialise too much does not make them happy.
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