This information was sent to me and, while I don’t know it’s source, I certainly resonate with the message. As we women age and embrace the Amazing Grays we have become (regardless of your hair color!) it becomes even more important to continue to nurture our female friendships. I mean, who else will welcome you with open arms, empathize when you feel you’ve made a mess of things, cry for the heartache you feel, laugh (with you) at your foibles, celebrate and encourage your talents and shake you lovingly by the shoulders while telling you to get a grip!
Not only are women-to-women relationships critical for our emotional health – they are imperative to our physical health as well. They teach it at Stanford!
The last lecture at an evening class at Stanford 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 well being. Women share feelings whereas men often form relationships around activities.
Men 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 girlfriends/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 women are indeed very, very lucky.
So – Let’s toast to our friendship with our girlfriends. Evidently it’s very good for our health.