Medicine? Magic? No, Just Meaningful Time with Girlfriends
The dailySpark welcomes guest blogger Debba Haupert of GIRLFRIENDOLOGY.com. Girlfriendology is the online community for women based on inspiration, appreciation and celebration of female friendship. Today, Debba writes about the importance of friendships, just in time for National Women’s Friendship Day!
You’ve all heard the old joke.
Woman walks into her doctor. She swings her arm and says: “Doctor, it hurts when I do this.”
Doctor says: “Well, don’t do that.”
You know our bodies often tell us what we need. Sore arm? Rest it. If we’re deficient in a vitamin or mineral, our body creates a craving for us to eat something that has what we need in it. When we’re thirsty it may be an indicator that we’re just not taking in enough water. Our body says, drink up!
Take care of me!
When we’re stressed, our bodies react with sleeplessness, weight gain or loss, changes in our physical appearance and attitude…adjustments. All of those stress reactions are indications, of course, that our bodies need us to do something to reduce stress--right?
What would you pay for a drug that would reduce stress, make you healthier, happier, live longer and even feel prettier? Think there’s no such silver bullet, ‘magic pill’ or herbal supplement?
I can’t speak for men here (sorry guys, but you’ll want to share the following information with your female partners/friends), but there really is such a stress-reducing supplement for women--it’s known as girlfriends. (Seriously!) Research has proven that it is part of our female DNA to long for community with other females; we are inherently social and have a strong, almost primal need for female friendship.
A few research findings:
- For years, scientists have confirmed the “fight or flight” response to stress. However, the initial stress tests that provided the data were based solely on male participants. Once women were tested using the same criteria, we had a totally different reaction. Women respond to stressful situations with a need to “tend and befriend.” Especially when stressed, we long to tend to our young/children and befriend other women. Even the scientists studying these phenomena confirmed the data personally. When the female scientists were stressed, they observed that they got together with each other for coffee while the male researchers often withdrew to their own offices/cubes.
- Their research also confirmed that, for women, spending time with their female friends reduced their stress levels. They also noted that not befriending and sharing their experiences with other females actually raised their stress levels.
- A recent study by Dove found that 70% of women “feel prettier” because of the girlfriend effect. That’s a better result than any miracle cream or plastic surgery can claim!
- Men who are married, have a longer life span than single men. Marriage has no effect on women’s longevity, although female friendships do have a positive impact.
- Women without strong social ties risk health issues equal to being overweight or smoking. It’s that serious.
Today is National Women’s Friendship Day. It’s also a day to be reminded of the girlfriend relationships that impact our health, happiness, longevity and self-esteem. Based on the research on the positive effects of girlfriends, and in honor of this special day, consider this a ‘public service message.’ Celebrating your friendship on a regular basis will make you healthier, happier, less stressed and even live longer.
“Doctor, it hurts when I do this.”
“Go tell your girlfriend!”
Check in with your body. Need a healthy dose of laughter or a kind, strong, supportive shoulder to lean on? Crave some time where you can totally be yourself? Are you deficient in giving your girlfriends some of your time and making them more of a priority in your busy life? Supplement your schedule with some girlfriend time. Make plans with your favorite gal pals for National Women’s Friendship Day to laugh and share life, then keep the fun going all year long for a daily dose of female friendship. Listen to your body and your soul. Girlfriend time is what a body needs!
Note: Most research from The Tending Instinct by Shelley E. Taylor. Also, information is from Kappa Delta NWFD facts and the Dove Beauty study.
DailySpark guest blogger Debba Haupert is the founder of GIRLFRIENDOLOGY – the online community for women based on female friendship. Girlfriendology.com is an inspiring site that offers semi-weekly podcast interviews with amazing women, videos, blogs, shopping, contests, reviews and more. For a dose of girlfriend inspiration, stop by www.girlfriendology.com.
Photos and logo used with permission from Girlfriendology
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