One of the Best Things You Can Do For Your Health

MindBody,Self-Love May 23, 2012 4:21 PM

Chat with your girlfriends. 

(Fellas, you can learn something from this too.)

This came to me in an email:

In an evening class at Stanford, the last lecture was on the mind-body connection—the relationship between stress and disease. The speaker (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 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.

Women do it all of the time. We share from our souls with our sisters/mothers/daughters, 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 to schmooze with a gal pal, just pat yourself on the back and congratulate yourself for doing something good for your health! We are indeed very, very lucky.

The mind-body connection is powerful. What you’re thinking and feeling can manifest physically. I’ve seen it happen to me as well as countless friends and clients.

Studies have shown that, for women, talk and touch release the hormone oxytocin, which reduces stress, calming both mind and body. A Dove study suggested that having girlfriends can also increase your self-esteem. Among the women in the study, 75 percent felt prettier because of other women.

Connect with your girlfriends, appreciate and nourish the relationship with your wife, and recognize the amazing women that are there for you. 

Thank you to all of the amazing women in my life who have been there when I needed them the most or when I didn’t need them at all. Thank you for keeping me healthy, happy, and filled with love.

“Life isn’t about surviving the storm; but how you dance in the rain.”

  • Ezekel Alan

    This is an excellent post and true for both men and women. I would love to see a posting on what we men should do to relieve stress BEYOND marrying a woman :-). Thanks for the good read.

    • http://dianaantholis.com/ Diana Antholis

      thank you Ezekel! Want to help me write a post (or write it) on what men should do to relieve stress? :)