A study was performed on 120 women in order to gauge their emotional distress and how it is relieved through the help of reinterpretation. These women were shown images that were invoking negative emotions such as anger, poverty, and sadness.
The study found that although reinterpreting the images alleviated their distress, it helped even more when the reinterpretation came from their friend. Thus suggesting that emotional regulation is more effective when other people actively help us with it.
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When we experience negative things it is important we lean on social support because most of the time our friends are better at regulating our emotions rather than ourselves.
We then feel supported, heard, and less alone. Sometimes we find it hard to believe ourselves therefore the practice of reinterpretation with a friend just seems more plausible than the things we tell ourselves.
"It’s not always easy to ask for support. We might judge ourselves if we can’t deal with our problems alone, or feel like we’re annoying our friends. But in the long run, we’re all better off if we support each other."
A truly supportive friend will love you for the person you are, flaws and all. That doesn’t mean friends have to agree with each other all of the time. In fact, different outlooks can help expand our horizons. Still, a true friend will accept you and even find beauty in your quirks and imperfections.
Empathy is the ability to feel and relate to another being. It's natural to experience this towards our friends, family, colleagues, and even strangers. When we empathize with someone, our good intentions often get lost in translation when we communicate.
Oftentimes, when we try to comfort the other person, we are quick to give unsolicited advice and offer solutions to try and fix their problems when what they really need is someone who will listen with no judgments or commentary.
Staying mentally and emotionally healthy helps us face challenges, stresses, and setbacks. It also equips us to be more functional in our daily lives.
A person who is mentally and emotionally healthy is able to connect with themselves and other people, and able to respond to the challenges that life throws in their path.