In an evening class at Stanford the last lecture was on the mind-body connection – the relationship between stress and disease. The speaker (head of psychiatry at Stanford) said, among other things, that one of the best things that a man could do for his health is to be married to a woman whereas for a woman, one of the best things she could do for her health was to nurture her relationships with her girlfriends. At first everyone laughed, but he was serious.
Women connect with each other differently and provide support systems that help each other to deal with stress and difficult life experiences. Physically this quality “girlfriend time” helps us to create more serotonin – a neurotransmitter that helps combat depression and can create a general feeling of wellbeing. Women share feelings whereas men often form relationships around activities. They rarely sit down with a buddy and talk about how they feel about certain things or how their personal lives are going. Jobs, Yes. Sports, Yes. Cars, Yes. Fishing, hunting, golf, Yes. But their feelings, Rarely.
Women do it all of the time. We share from our souls with our sisters/mothers, and evidently that is very good for our health. He said that spending time with a friend is just as important to our general health as jogging or working out at a gym.
There’s a tendency to think that when we are “exercising” we are doing something good for our bodies, but when we are hanging out with friends, we are wasting our time and should be more productively engaged, not true. In fact, he said that failure to create and maintain quality personal relationships with other humans is as dangerous to our physical health as smoking!
So every time you hang out to schmooze with a gal pal, just pat yourself on the back and congratulate yourself for doing something good for your health! We are indeed very, very lucky. Sooooo, let’s toast to our friendship with our girlfriends. Evidently it’s very good for our health.
Forward this to all your girlfriends and stay in touch!
Thanks to all the girls in my life who have helped me stay healthy, happy, and feeling very loved.
Life isn’t about surviving the storm; but how you dance in the rain.
Here are some more compelling reasons to nurture your friendships.
What are the benefits of friendships?
1. Good friends are good for your health.
2. Friends can help you celebrate good times and provide support during bad times.
3. Friends prevent loneliness and give you a chance to offer needed companionship, too.
4. Increase your sense of belonging and purpose
5. Boost your happiness
6. Reduce stress
7. Improve your self-worth
8. Help you cope with traumas, such as divorce, serious illness, job loss or the death of a loved one
9. Encourage you to change or avoid unhealthy lifestyle habits, such as excessive drinking or lack of exercise
Adapted from the Mayo Clinic Staff
Now go out this week and take a friend for lunch. Have a great conversation and catch up.