You know those mass emails your second cousin sends you? The ones warning you about the dangers of cotton socks and chewing gum. Or the ones that promise you good luck or a free Ipad, ONLY, if you forward to everyone you know. I’m not a fan. But, when I received this ‘viral email’ from my mother, who knows I detest them, I gave her the benefit of the doubt and read it. (While, I’m not sure if the research backing these claims is 100% verifiable what I do know is the value of a true girlfriend, so read on…)
“I just finished taking an evening class at Stanford. The 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 a man can do for his health is to be married to a woman, whereas for a woman, one of the best things she can do for her health is 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 generally 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, friends, and co-workers…and evidently that is very good for our health. He said that spending time with a friend is just as important to women’s 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 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.”Girl Time is Good for Your Health! For some healthy girl time with your special ladies, attend the Women’s Wellness Weekend at South Mountain YMCA Camps this fall (Sept. 28-30, 2012).