Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Girlfriend time is good for our health...

A friend just forwarded this email to me (below), and I thought what this professor said was a good reminder to me and worthy of sharing with you. (And yes, the friend was a woman, of course!) :-D

Not only does it help my stress levels and emotional wellbeing when I write and share my thoughts, but it helps when I sit down and visit/talk/listen with my women friends. There is something about that connection that is beyond powerful. It's just good medicine.

I hope this reminder will encourage you to connect today or this week with a good friend. Make time to share a smile, a laugh, or a hug. Tell your stories and listen to theirs. I know life gets too busy sometimes and it's hard to schedule that coffee time or lunch with a friend. My girlfriend, Rita, and I have been playing phone and text tag for weeks, and I'm the one who's dropped the ball. Regardless of how busy your schedule is, don't short-change this powerful avenue for women's stress-relief and health.

And for you men who are wonderful listeners and "sharers", thank you! Your friendships, listening ears, and ability to talk and share are a true blessing. I am glad I have all of you in my life. Now, let me go call my friend Rita and schedule that lunch, brunch, or coffee – whatever she can shoehorn into her busy life this week. It's past time to catch up!!

Blessings,
Joan
Caregiver at Home
www.CaregiverEncouragement.com

Thought to share.....

"I just finished taking 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, 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. So, let's toast to our friendship with our girlfriends. It's very good for our health."

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