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Black Tie Health and Wellness 1

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Black Tie International Magazine: Wellness
You've Got a Friend

You've Got a Friend

By:  Bennett Flaum, PsyD & Mitchell Flaum, PhD

 

"A friend is one that knows you as you are, understands where you have been, accepts what you have become, and still, gently allows you to grow".-   William Shakespeare

We all yearn for enduring friendships and comforting social support systems. Social support has been defined as the physical and emotional support given to us by family and friends. It is knowing that people love us and care for us. There are different ways of looking at social support. " Structural social support" refers to the number of friends one has. "Functional social support" refers to whether one can count on their family and friends in times of need.

Perhaps you hard heard the Beatles song lyric, " I get by with a little help from my friends", or the Golden Girls show theme, " Thank you for being a friend". Having supportive relationships is a necessity for our health and wellbeing. Some evidence actually suggests that social support is related to the reduced risk for mental illness and physical illness . In one study, for example, individuals in love had fewer colds and a more active immune system. In another study, males with heart disease experienced a 50% reduction in the frequency of chest pain when in a supportive and loving marital relationship. Finally, one study revealed that people with fewer friends had higher mortality rates.

Explanations abound as to why social support and health are related. One theory is that people with social support are  more likely to adhere to mental regimens and lead a more healthy lifestyle. They are also likely to recover more quickly from illness. Furthermore, they are less likely to suffer from anxiety and depression than those who are alone and isolated.
 
The availability of social support systems can also explain why some people can tolerate and buffer higher levels of stress than others. It appears that those with greater social support tend to perceive a stressor as less anxiety-provoking than those with lower levels of support. They are also more likely to believe that others will be available to assist them in times of need. One other explanation for the stress-reducing effects of social support is that a hormone called oxytocin, produced during periods of social interaction, promotes a state of relaxation.

Conversely, the loss of friendship and emotional connection can be quite hurtful and takes its toll on us. For example, researchers have discovered the harmful effects of experiencing the loss of a significant other through either divorce or death, leading to poor health and depression. In fact, one study demonstrated that those who were divorced or widowed were more likely to have cardiac disease, diabetes, cancer, or other chronic illnesses.

Whether you talk on a phone, text, communicate over the internet, date, or pursue therapy, you are receiving and providing support, advice or encouragement. Indeed , the simple act of communicating  can elevate your mood. Just knowing that there is someone for you to confide in can be as helpful as actually receiving direct assistance from another in your time of need. However, the act of receiving support calls for some sort of reciprocation. Gender differences are noted, inasmuch as females are more likely than males to give and receive social support.
 
Research further suggests that you are more like to reach out and offer assistance to others who are genetically more similar to yourself. The impact of personality factors on the ability to develop and maintain ensuring friendships must also be considered. Take Type A personalities, for example, who tend to be aggressive, angry and at times hostile. Such personality character traits can actually alienate potential friends. In fact, some researchers propose that the absence of social support systems may actually lead to the development of a Type A personality. Finally, one's socioeconomic status also impacts upon the availability of social support. Those who are poor tend to have less support, while those who are rich tend to have more available support, and are therefore able to better tolerate and cope with the presence of stressful events.
 
In conclusion, may we all be blessed with the presence of people whom we know we can count on in times of need, and whom we trust are our comerades, accompanying us in loving spirit on our Life journey
 


 




 

 

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Yoko Ono and John Lennon

Jerry Garcia Foundation

Imagine Theres No Hunger

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December 16, 2017


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Seventeenth Annual Long Island American Heart Association



Seventeenth Annual
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Long Island, NY
February 28, 2018


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2017 C3 US-Arab Business & Healthcare Summit

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Global CeylonTea Party

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Global Ceylon Tea Party
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Ashley Judd
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Hope for Depression
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Ralph Fiennes and Elizabeth Segerstrom at South Coast Plaza's Art, Excellence + Friendship event, an evening with the Mariinsky Theatre Orchestra at Segerstrom Center for the Arts Monday, October 30, 2017.

Ralph Fiennes
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South Coast Palaz's
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Christy Teigen and John Legend.  Photo by:  Rose Billings/Blacktiemagazine.com

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71st Tony Awards

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Open Your Hearts Chair Jean Shafiroff, with Honorees Ralph S. Mosca, M.D. Photo by:  Rose Billings/Blacktiemagazine.com

21st Annual
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National Meningitis Association Rings
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The Ocean Conference

Our oceans, our future: partnering for the implementation of
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United Nations
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Gala Chairs Wendy and Michael Esposito with His Eminence, Timothy Michael Cardinal Dolan

The 41st Annual
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Lawrence and Lori Fink, Ken and Elaine Langone, Robert I. Grossman, MD, Dean and CEO of NYU Langone, Elisabeth J. Cohen, MD, and honoree Thomas S. Murphy at the 2017 Violet Ball

NYU Langone
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KidneyTexas, Inc.

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2017 Luncheon
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Dallas, TX


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ecosoc 2017

ECOSOC    2017
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Kathryn and Leo Vecellio



 
The 62nd Annual
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 Silvia Frieser (Co-Chair) (Executive Director) Michael Peenik (Co-Chair).  Photo by:  Rose Billings/Blacktiemagazine.com



 The 62nd
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 Deborra-Lee Furness, Leadership Award Recipient and Cate Blanchett, Presenter.  Photo by:  Rose Billings/Blacktiemagazine.com

Deborra-Lee Furness
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UN Women for Peace Association
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Andrew Solomon, Meryl Streep, Stephen Sondheim

Andrew Solomon
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PEN America
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Jane Alexander 
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2017 Audubon Gala
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NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 20: (L-R) Fashion designer Issac Mizrahi, honoree Linda Lloyd Lambert and President and CEO of ASPCA, Matt Bershadker attend the ASPCA hosted 20th Annual Bergh Ball at The Plaza Hotel on April 20, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Bryan Bedder/Getty Images for ASPCA)

 Issac Mizrahi
Linda Lloyd Lambert
  Matt Bershadker
ASPCA
20th Annual Bergh Ball
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Crown Prince Alexander, Joyce Brooks


Crown Prince Alexander
 Joyce Brooks



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Elizabeth Taylor and Kathy Ireland

Elizabeth Taylor
 Kathy Ireland


The Elizabeth Taylor
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Celebrates
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Jude Demorest, Lee Daniels and Brittany O'Grady.  Photo by:  Vince Bucci

 Jude Demorest
 Lee Daniels
 Brittany O'Grady

Extraordinary Families
2nd Annual Awards Gala
Beverly Hills, CA

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From left: Dr. Steven J. Corwin, president and CEO of NewYork-Presbyterian, Jessica M. Bibiliowicz, chairman of Weill Cornell Medicine's Board of Overseers, Frank A. Bennack, Jr., chairman of NewYork-Presbyterian's Board of Trustees, and Dr. Augustine M.K. Choi, interim dean of Weill Cornell Medicine, during the annual Cabaret benefit dinner on Nov. 9 at Pier Sixty, Chelsea Piers. The event raised $3.5 million to support the institutions' ongoing work in patient care, biomedical research and medical education..  Photo by:  Studio Brooke

NewYork-Presbyterian
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T. Denny Sanford

T. Denny Sanford
 $100 million Gift
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Nancy Grand, Stephen Grand

Nancy &Stephen Grand
commit $50 million
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Marc Anthony, Carlos Slim, Petra Nemcova

Marc Anthony
Carlos Slim
Petra Nemcova

Happy
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Israel's 65th birthday

Israel's
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2015 US Charitable Giving
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Cortés Desalination and Tidal Electric Generation Project

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