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This article was emailed to me by Bonnie Marcus this week and apparently it has circulated around the internet. I was unable to find the source, but I am passing it along regardless because I think the message is important. I would love to know your thoughts on the subject.

In a class given 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, 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. Sooooo, let's toast to our friendship with our girlfriends. It's very good for our health.

What do you think? Do your girlfriends keep you healthy?

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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Jkp wrote Sep 13, 2010
    • This is so true. I met my very best friend when we both turned 40. We are 11 days apart and we are now 46. There is not a day that goes by that we don’t talk. We take a 1 week vacation together to Florida every summer and as many weekend get aways we can through the year. We laugh together, we cry together, we tell each other everything.As wives and mothers we often forget about ourselves. When we are together we but that part of us to the side and become the silly girls we use to be.We don’t worry if we‘re out some where and we laugh so loud that people turn around and look at us.We truely allow each other to be ourselves and we have so much fun together. She keeps me grounded when sometimes I feel like I’m lossing it.I hope that this doesn’t sound strange but in some way she has brought a spark back into my life. She is good for my soul. Our friendship is a gift that I will treasure forever!

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