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Are You Keeping Your Friends Close?

Why are close friendships so good for your health, and even better than those with your family? An interesting report argues Americans may be more isolated than they were two decades ago. In fact, 25 percent of the Americans surveyed had nobody with whom to discuss personal problems.

Based on data collected since 1972, the drop in close friendships started some two decades ago. At that time, patients could name three close friends they saw often and shared common interests, along with a safety net of social contacts within their communities.

Flashing forward, roughly 50 percent more Americans reported their spouse was their sole confidant, meaning if that married couple experienced trouble, they have no one who they can to reach out to for help, researchers said. What's more, friends who felt they could count on their neighbors for help dropped by some 58 percent.

A big part of the problem, according to some experts, is one of the familiar culprits of the obesity crisis: Replacing human contact with time wasted in front of the television. The "boob tube" is no replacement for friends...

Emotions are indeed powerful things than contribute positively and negatively to your health. So much so, that's what's going on inside your head can override all the good things you may be doing to help your body.

One thing you can do to improve the quality of relationships you already have and build others: Learn to better handle the negative emotions and stress that harms your health by mastering the Emotional Freedom Technique, the safe and effective energy psychology tool used in my practice.

American Sociological Review, Vol. 71, No. 3, June 2006: 353-375 Free Full PDF Study

Washington Post June 23, 2006

Yahoo News June 23, 2006

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