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The Importance of Friendship During Challenging Times

According to my favorite Greek philosopher Aristotle, we humans are biologically social animals.

Our first nature is to be around others!

However if you’re going through a challenging time (aka: a break up, a work rejection, a money problem, a trauma, a difficult illness, the passing of a loved one) often being around other people feels much more like a 2,841st nature.

You gotta fight this urge to hide away.

In my Oprah.com recommended Bounce Back Book  I share research which shows it’s far more healthful to be around people.

Dr. Dina Carbonell, a research associate at Simmons College, studied the secrets of people who successfully bounced back from hard times. She tracked 400 people for 25 years, from ages 5 to 30, studying the main characteristics of those who did best in difficult circumstances.

Her findings?

“Resilient people identify those who are available, trustworthy and helpful. Then they go towards this light,” says Dr. Carbonell.

In psychologist Professor Ed Diener’s research he’s found that close relationships actually influence overall joy far more than income! And good strong friendships can even ward off germs – by lowering stress, and improving your immune system.

A Bingingham University study dittos these findings — reporting people who claim to have 5 or more friends with whom they can discuss important problems, are 60% more likely to say that they are “very happy.”

According to Dr. John Haidt the urge for humans to seek the sweetness of other people is just as natural and strong as bees who migrate towards a honey hive. Haidt believes we humans, just like bees, feel the most comfortable and thriving when we are members of a larger hive. Hence why many folks feel so unsettled and lost when alone too often, without the comfort of others.

So if you want to feel at the top of your game, it’s essential to spend time buzzing around with supportive people!

Your Assignment:

Make sure you are playing the right amount of hide and seek! Figure out who your sweet hive people might be. Make a list of all the people you consider close friends. Now ask yourself: Who is 100% rooting for you to live your happiest life – and not competing or jealous? Who do you always feel happier after visiting – not more depressed? These are your your supportive hive people. Go towards these hive people often! Let them know how much you appreciate them often — and your hive will further thrive!

Remember…

One of the indirectly good things about going through bad times – it can bring you closer to others, bonding you in a truly emotionally, meaningful way!

If you have a friend going through a tough time, cheer them up and cheer them on with my book: Friends Forever Whatever Whenever – now out from Random House!

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Karen Salmansohn (Founder)

Hi I’m Karen Salmansohn, founder of NotSalmon. My mission is to offer you easy-to-understand insights and tools to empower you to bloom into your happiest, highest potential self. I use playful analogies, feisty humor, and stylish graphics to distill big ideas – going as far back as ancient wisdom from Aristotle, Buddhism and Darwin to the latest research studies from Cognitive Therapy, Neuro Linquistic Programming, Neuroscience, Positive Psychology, Quantum Physics, Nutritional Studies – and then some.

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