A new study with chimpanzees says having friends around doesn’t just make us less stressed – it helps our bodies on a physiological level.
The study, published in Nature Communications, claims friends and loved ones help regulate stress-indicating hormones just by being nearby.
Researchers watched numerous wild chimpanzees in Uganda for more than two years, according to Newsweek. During this time, they measured the primates’ stress levels by testing the chimps’ urine samples for stress hormones.
The study claims that chimps with “bond partners” (chimp speak for “friends”) had noticeably lower stress levels at ALL times — not just in stressful situations.
That means the presence of loved ones actively regulates the system that manages the body’s hormones.
“This suggests it is important for chimps to have “bond partners” with whom they regularly engage in friendly and cooperative behavior and rarely are aggressive toward,” Newsweek reports.