Research from the past shows that social life and circles have a big impact on a person’s health. The majority of people believe that the effects of socializing are only on mental well-being. However, this may not be true as more and more studies are looking at how it influences the general health.
In addition, the effects may also be far more complex than previous beliefs. For instance, some recent studies highlight the link between lack of socializing in adults and different forms of dementia. On the other hand, research also connects with issues such as a higher risk of heart problems.
Now, a new study explores the specific impact of spending time with a significant other. Precisely, it looks at how being with someone a person loves can actually decrease the physical pain. Previous research shows that being in physical contact with a significant other helps deal with pain.
This happens due to the synchronization of brainwaves between two people during physical contact. The recent study explores this very subject further and concludes that even the company can be beneficial.
The study was from researchers from two different universities – the University of the Balearic Islands in Spain and the University of Health Sciences, Medical Informatics and Technology in Austria. Its findings appear in the Scandinavian Journal of Pain.
What Was the Research Method?
Socializing is an important part of the daily life of a person. This is not only for the familiarizing with different spheres of life but also for health. Research already shows that social isolation and deprivation can both cause serious and harmful effects on mental health.
Secondly, now it also shows how being with friends or romantic partners is not only good but beneficial. The new study adds to this very side of medical literature. To do so, the researchers in this study look recruited forty-eight couples.
All of the couples were heterosexual and the average age was 24-25. Additionally, the partners had been with each other for an average of 3-3.5 years. Firstly, the participants had to fill questionnaires for the researchers to examine their levels of empathy.
Then, the researchers noted how each one of the participants reacts in a difficult or painful time. This was done in two different situations – when the participant was alone and when he/she was with his/her partner.
In the latter, the participants were only in the presence of their partner. There was no physical or verbal interaction between the couples during the time.
In these situations, the researchers used a tool called pressure algometer. This device specifically measures pain sensitivity in people.
What Was the Result?
After the investigation, the researchers found that both women and men have a higher tolerance for pain with their partner. Secondly, higher empathy levels increased resilience.
The researchers admit that there are also other areas that can have an impact on the result. For example, a person may not give as much attention to their pain when they are with their partner. Nevertheless, they also state that the conclusions are significant for research on pain tolerance with a significant other.