We can all likely think of someone we enjoy spending time with. Maybe it’s our best friend or our sister. Just being around this person may improve our mood. She may make us feel better when we’re going through a difficult time.

These connections that we share with others are our Tribes. To offer a more concrete definition, our Tribes are groups or individuals with whom we share beliefs, values, or interests. It could be your group of girlfriends from college or a running-mate at the gym.

Our Tribes are essential to our social well-being, but that’s not all. Research shows that they also help us to live longer, more fulfilling lives.

Relationships Impact Our Health

According to a University of Austin study by Debra Umberson, PhD, professor of sociology, and Jennifer Karas Montez, professor of sociology, social relationships can have short-term and long-term effects on our health, for better and for worse. Through my experience and research, the higher-quality our relationships are, the more likely we are to live longer, fulfilled lives.

In turn, lower-quality relationships can lead to higher instances of illnesses such as high blood pressure, cancer, and increased risk of mortality.

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