At an evening class at Stanford, the last lecture was on the mind-body connection - the relationship between stress and disease. The speaker (the 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 quite 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. 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 ever.
Women do it all of the time. We share from our souls with our sisters, mothers, and good friends, 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 with a gal pal, just pat yourself on the back and congratulate yourself for doing something really good for your health! We are indeed very, very lucky. Let's toast to our friendships with our girlfriends... they're very good for our Souls!