To be honest, my girlfriend Allison’s* health (having dealt with some pretty serious cancer surgeries) isn’t great. Yet, even in the midst of ‘stuff’ going on in her life, she still took time to forward me the following meaningful girlfriend message. (Thanks Allison!)
A Thought to Share
A a friend just finished taking 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 and a male ) 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 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, golf? Yes. But their feelings?–rarely. Women do it all of the time. We share from our souls with our sisters, 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. So, let’s toast to our friendship with our girlfriends. Evidently it’s very good for our health.
p.s. I researched the above article and was unable to find the source but did find lots of blogs and websites who felt it was meaningful enough to share as well. I hope you enjoyed it and that it inspires you to be a better friend! Plus I’ve read similar research (like this by the NY Times – What are Friends for? A longer life!) so I believe these statements to be true. Girlfriends are good for your health!
* Allison is one of the two girlfriends who inspired me to start Girlfriendology when I was at a loss when they were diagnosed with cancer. You can read more on ‘a toast to Allison‘ about her cancer journey on Girlfriendology.
p.s. And … be a friend to Girlfriendology! Share this blog with your girlfriends by clicking the Facebook LIKE button below and also, when you’re on our Facebook page, SHARE IT WITH YOUR GIRLFRIENDS. (Please?!) Thanks girlfriend!
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