I just finished reading a great book that celebrated the power of female friendships, and shortly after, received this email from my mother-in-law. Clearly, the universe is telling me to pass the love along and remind us all to cherish our female friends.
The story apparently comes from the head of psychiatry at Stanford University (ironically, Dr. Lark served on the clinical faculty of Stanfords Medical School and taught in their Division of Family and Community Medicine). During a lecture, he said 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.
Naturally, everyone laughed, until it became clear that he was serious. He went on to explain:
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 serotonina 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.
Women do it all of the time. We share from our souls with our sisters 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 .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!
We all likely know inherently that our friendships (usually!) bring us joy and peace. So, I encourage us all to reach out this week to all of our amazing women friends. Be it your mother, sister, aunt, family friend, in-law, niece, child, grandchildren, or best girlfriend tell them you love them. Make time for them. Listen. Share. Laugh. Love.
For more information on overall health, female hormones, or other womens health related topics, visit Dr. Larks Web site.