A friend just shared an email with me….a Stanford University psychiatry professor has discovered that women actually improve their health by connecting with their female friends!
It’s exciting news that confirms what women have instinctively known all along — that our close friendships nurture and sustain us. Now there is proof that women’s bodies release more serotonin (a hormone that makes us feel good) when they are sharing and connecting with close female friends.
All over the world, women get together with their girlfriends/sisters/mothers/daughters to share feelings and thoughts about the deeper currents running through their lives. And this deep bonding and sharing is now known to be critical to women’s well-being!
Interestingly enough, the professor also pointed out that for men it’s very different (and other research has confirmed this). Men are happiest when in a close connection with their life partner (wife or significant other). They get the most health and mental well-being benefits from this intimate relationship.
In fact, in some studies, men benefited from this relationship even when it was considered “unhealthy”…in other words men were better off emotionally in an unhealthy marriage than living alone!
And as most men and women would suspect, friendships with other men are not critical to a man’s emotional well-being. Most male friendships revolve around activities (either doing the activity or just talking about it), and it is rare for male friends to discuss feelings.
These findings are significant and support what women have intuitively known — that a woman’s friendships are essential to her mental, physical, emotional and spiritual health!
Now we can rank “girls’ night out” right up there in importance with exercising…something that women need to engage in regularly to live their best life.
The second vital piece that women can take away from this is to recognize that their marriage/relationship is the key element to their husband’s well-being.
A man doesn’t have the network of friends to turn to when he needs to talk about his feelings. He turns to his wife/partner. This emphasizes the importance of a woman’s role in a marriage, and shed’s light on why men typically are happier when coupled.
So ladies — make it a priority to incorporate time with your girlfriends into your busy schedules, and be aware of the contribution you make to your closest intimate relationship.
It turns out that talking really is good for you!
Do you have a regular girls’ night out? I welcome your thoughts or comments….