“These results are important, because they indicate that the ability of relationships to be supportive (e.g., long-lasting, close, warm) determined the effects of relationships on the visual perception of a potential physical challenge,” the study notes. “In other words, the very properties that make relationships a psychosocial resource (duration and closeness) apparently explain why relationships moderate perception.”
The study does not try to determine if the impact is due to an increase in feelings of self worth and confidence or possibly even just the human connection. Possibly it is the underlying knowledge that we are not alone in the world that other people care and love us and that, if necessary, will come to our aid and help move us along. Or maybe the addition of a friend simply makes the activity more fun and, after all, who would not want to have more fun?
However, the fact remains that, whatever the cause, Epicurus was right when he said, "It is not so much our friends' help that helps us as the confident knowledge that they will help us."
Armed with the scientific study to back up my actions, I know now, that while there will be more than just the mountains in Yellowstone to deal with on our vacation, knowing we will help each other, and by focusing on fun, those obstacles will be mere speed bumps rapidly run over by our 38-foot RV.