It’s Women’s Health Week and we’re looking at Women’s Wellness and the health benefits of female friendship.
If Oprah sold a pill that made you: healthier, happier, less stressed, live longer and feel more beautiful, would you buy it?
Most of us would. Most of us would pay good money for those health benefits — anything that would improve our health and quality of life.
The secret is, we all have that ‘pill’ available to us at any time. It’s called ‘female friendship.’ Scientific proof has confirmed the overwhelming health benefits of having a support system called girlfriends.
Again … female friendships make women HEALTHIER, HAPPIER, LESS STRESSED, LIVE LONGER and FEEL MORE BEAUTIFUL. If you don’t believe us …
Per the Mayo Clinic: Good friends are good for your health. Friends can help you celebrate good times and provide support during bad times. Friends prevent loneliness and give you a chance to offer needed companionship, too. Friends can also:
- Increase your sense of belonging and purpose
- Boost your happiness and reduce your stress
- Improve your self-confidence and self-worth
- Help you cope with traumas, such as divorce, serious illness, job loss or the death of a loved one
- Encourage you to change or avoid unhealthy lifestyle habits, such as excessive drinking or lack of exercise
Let’s just single out one of the health benefits of girlfriends – Less Stress.
Per The Huffington Post’s article “Three-quarters of your Doctor Bills are because of This“: “Stress is a factor in five out of the six leading causes of death — heart disease, cancer, stroke, lower respiratory disease, and accidents. An estimated 75 to 90% of all doctor visits are for stress-related issues.” That’s a lot of stress and negative effects on women’s health!
Girlfriend example: You come home from a bad day at work – your employee dropped the ball on a project and they’re upset. Your boss is mad. You have errands to run, kids to feed, and a small hill of dirty clothes that aren’t getting clean by themselves. You’d rather stay home and do the laundry and get ahead on food prep for the week, but you promised your girlfriend that you’d make it to book club (even if you didn’t read the book!). So you grab a bottle of wine and head to your girlfriend book club. Within five minutes of chatting with your girlfriends, you have a wine in your hand and a smile on your face. You’ve already forgotten the day. Your blood pressure has dropped, your energy level has been restored, and you no longer feel stressed.
Every woman I have talked to about this completely agrees – female friendship lowers stress!
Interestingly … per The Tending Instinct – Early research on the effects of stress were only conducted on men. Eventually, when tests on stress were given to women, it showed that we respond much differently than men. (Dah!) Men react to stress with fight or flight. Women, it was found over and over in research tests, respond to stress by a need to “draw on their friends, neighbors, relatives more than men do.” And, as Taylor described it, we don’t resort to ‘fight or flight,’ but more to ‘tend and befriend.’ We want to tend to our young and be with our friends – especially our female friends.
Female Friendship. It’s actually part of our DNA. This need for female friendship and bonding is found in other species. The Tending Instinct shared a study done by biologist Sue Carter when she studied prairie voles – small rodents that form strong, lifelong male/female ‘partnerships.’ When the male voles were stressed, they ran to their partners (‘wives). When the females experienced stress, they ran to their girlfriends – or the females voles with whom they were raised.
So, how should you celebrate Women’s Health Week? Here’s a few ideas:
- Spend Time with your Girlfriends – There’s nothing like spending an evening with your friends, just laughing and de-stressing. PLAN IT! DO IT!
- Be a Better Friend – To have a Friend, you have to be a Friend! Be the kind of friend you’d love to have!
- Plan a Girlfriend Trip – There’s nothing like hitting the road or clouds together with your girlfriends! Travel with women – women who GET you! Make memories together! Have a blast traveling with your friends!
For more on women’s stress and friendship inspiration:
- Dear Girlfriend Who’s Stressed … Three Girlfriend Lessons on how to deal with Stress
- 5 Ways to De-Stress Your Holidays
- Dear Girlfriend who Feels Overwhelmed, Girlfriend Advice on Reducing Stress
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