An Ally is a powerful social relationship. It's someone you trust, someone who makes you smile, and most importantly, someone you can see or talk to often—ideally at least once every two weeks.
Why it Matters
Hundreds of scientific studies over the past decade have shown that having at least two strong social relationships dramatically increases positive health outcomes and helps us succeed in our goals.
Every strong social relationship has four traits in common: positivity, honesty, support and closeness.
Positivity: You feel good when you see each other.
Honesty: You can talk to each other honestly about problems and challenges in your lives.
Support: You feel comfortable asking each other for help.
Closeness: You make time for each other. You see each other in person or talk on the phone at least once every two weeks.
Find those four traits and you've found yourself an ally.
How it Works
Allies make each other stronger in four key ways:
Stronger immune systems: Social support from at least two people is linked to better immune functioning—our wounds heal faster, we catch fewer colds, and we even fight diseases like cancer more effectively.
Lower stress levels: Positive social interaction reduces the levels of cortisol (the stress hormone) in our bodies.
Cardiovascular impact: Spending time with people we like lowers our blood pressure and decreases our heart rate.
Social resources: Allies help us gather the resources we need to achieve our goals.
And the best part is that it works both ways. Every time you connect with an Ally, you're making THEM stronger, too.