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Get thee to a water cooler.
A study in Health Psychology surveyed the work lives of more than 800 people and found that those who experienced emotional support from their colleagues had a 41 percent lower risk of dying from any cause two decades later than those without sympathetic peers. The connection between work buddies and wellness may be linked to oxytocin, says study coauthor Sharon Toker, PhD, chair of the organizational behavior program at Tel Aviv University. Though oxytocin is often associated with feelings of calm, researchers have found that production of the tend-and-befriend hormone can also increase when we're anxious, driving us to seek out compassionate friends. "When you have people you can turn to, their encouragement can help decrease stress and over time promote longevity," says Toker. "But the opposite appears to be true also: If you don't have a strong support system, the release of oxytocin may actually trigger more stress."