Girlfriends Are Good For Your Health

Stanford University, Mind-Body Connection - The Benefits of Female Relationships

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I have a wonderful, supportive group of girlfriends in my life that will gather together to celebrate at the drop of a dime, or a good lemon drop.

They range in age and talents, and bring color, learning, and laughter into my life. We are a powerful force of strong women, woven together into a fabric that embraces individuality, creativity, acceptance, and forgiveness. We stand fast, supporting each other to be the best we can be. When one succeeds, we celebrate. When one falls down, we lift them up.

“One of the bet things a man could do for his health is to be married to a woman, whereas for a woman, once of the best things she could do for her health was to nurture her relationships with her girlfriends.”

I just finished reading an article about a lecture given during a class at Stanford University on the mind-body connection—the relationship between stress and disease. http://stresshealthcenter.stanford.edu/

Dr. David Spiegel, the 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.

Apparently everyone laughed, but he was serious.

Women connect with each other differently than they do with men 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 well-being. 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, daughters, girlfriends, co-workers, 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, (which we are) but when we are hanging out with friends, we are wasting our time and should be more productively engaged. This, he explained, is simply not true. In fact, he said, failure to create and maintain quality personal relationships with other humans is as dangerous to our physical health as smoking!

Every time you ladies hang out and 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.

So, let’s all toast to summer, the promise of sunshine and new growth, and the friendships with our girlfriends. Cheers!

Evidently it’s very good for our health. ☺

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