Connecting with Others to Stress Less

Connecting with Others to Stress Less
Natalie Stein

Exercise, Fitness & Nutrition Expert | Lark Health

Positive human connections can lower perceived stress as well as levels of stress hormones. Connecting with the right people can improve mood, help you feel safer, and reduce stress. There are many people that you can connect with so you can stress less.

Family, Friends, and Coworkers

Family, friends, and coworkers are great places to start for human contact. So is anyone else whom you see regularly, such as neighbors or folks at the gym. From light-hearted small talk to deep conversations, they can boost mood, help solve problems, and lend a helping hand before or after things get overwhelming.

Building Bridges with Like-Minded Folks 

Spending time with like-minded people can have a positive impact on stress levels. Spending time with people who are interested in one or more of the same things as you can be a smart approach to build a foundation. Your common interests give you something non-stressful to talk about, and you may end up making friends, and talking about other topics, with some of these people.

Joining a club, taking a class, and playing on a sports team are ways to find like-minded people and potential friends. Doing something together, talking about it, and eventually talking about other areas of your life can all reduce stress. Plus, doing things you love has stress-busting benefits.

Social Media and Stress: Complicated Relationship

Several studies have investigated social media use and feelings of anxiety or other feelings related to stress [1]. Some found that increased passive use, such as browsing or spending a long time on, or showing addictive behaviors on sites such as Facebook were linked to increased social anxiety. However, factors such as having more people in posted photos were linked to less social anxiety. Still other studies found no link between social media use and negative feelings.

When considering social media use and stress, it may be best to take a conservative approach to use. For example, limiting time spent on social media and using it to connect to people you really care about may be healthy steps to take to keep social media from having a negative effect on stress.

Giving to Reduce Stress

Another type of connection is one in which you are the giver. Volunteering, helping out with someone’s errands or children, and knocking on doors to get out the vote are all ways to connect with people and contribute to society. There is no shortage of evidence showing that people who give are happier and healthier.

Positive and Negative Connections

Some people may add stress to your life. Whether they are undermining you or simply have a personality that clashes with yours, there is no reason to spend time with anyone who regularly makes you feel angry, frustrated, or confused.

The bottom line is that making positive connections can lower stress. Compassionate, supportive people are all around, and making sure that they are all around you can help manage stress.