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Friendships Are a Healthy Choice!

February 28, 2011

Friends do more than make us feel good; they are actually good for our health.  And that’s not just hyperbole.

Research proves that friends are good for our well-being.  A landmark UCLA study showed that our bodies produce more of the hormone, oxytocin, which reduces stress and creates calm, when we share our lives with girlfriends.

Plus, a Harvard Medical School Nurses’ Health Study revealed that the more friends we have, the less likely we are to develop health issues and the more easily we recover after the death of a partner.

And, we are 26 percent less likely to develop dementia, according to a Kaiser Permanente Study in the American Journal of Public Health.  All the more reason to make and keep our girlfriends.

Most women spend time investing in their financial future.  If we put that same level of attention into investing in our female friends, we’ll protect ourselves in a different but equally powerful way.

Even if today our life is filled with family, work, and pastimes, tomorrow may be suddenly different.  We must make the time for friends or face being alone when/if we lose a spouse/partner, leave a job, move, face an empty nest or realize that for one reason or another we’re just plain lonely.  Doesn’t our health depend on it?

Tell us what girlfriends have added to your life?  We want to hear your story!||

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9 Comments leave one →
  1. March 3, 2011 6:47 am

    What my girlfriends add to my life is support. No matter what state of mind or emotional state I’m in, I can always pick up the phone and call one of my friends. (Or text, it’s brave new world). And I can always count on sane advice and loads of compassion. I can’t imagine my life without my friends.

    • March 9, 2011 11:41 am

      Sheila,isn’t it comforting to know that you have a structure set up that supports you being fully empowered and in action regardless of the circumstances that life throws your way.

  2. Noonie Benford permalink
    March 3, 2011 12:42 pm

    I love this beautiful blog and look forward to reading your thoughts and feelings. Thank you for dreaming up such a wonderful topic. We all need to be reminded of the value of our girlfriends, how to make the most of our relationships, and how to be the best friend we can.

  3. March 7, 2011 5:41 am

    And I believe you should never lose touch with childhood friends. Thank you for this story.

  4. March 8, 2011 7:53 pm

    I have been “found” by 47 women who graduated high school with me in the 1960s just on FB and gotten together with some of them. Two have been lifetime friends, one even flying to Kentucky from New Jersey when I had surgery. It is a great thing to know people you know across the world still think of you after so many years. For now though, things have been rough as several (4 exactly) of my best friends have died in the last 6 years here locally and I have not really reached back to anyone who has reached out to try and replace them. And I have so little in common with women my age because I am raising a granddaughter. What person thinking of retirement (which I will never be able to do anyway- or even want to I guess) knows who Justin Beiber is and has watched all 3 Twilight movies?

    • March 8, 2011 9:12 pm

      Penny, I bet there are lots of women who want to be friends with a woman like you who in touch with the younger generation! Think of all they can learn from you! You’ve got a lot to offer women of any age.

  5. Patricd permalink
    April 13, 2011 10:53 pm

    Friendships have added extended family for me. And, Huge support for my children. My friends are there to help me parent, listen to me breathe when my experiences are overwhelming and to enjoy fun activities with.

  6. Lynn Davis permalink
    May 21, 2011 6:13 pm

    My biggest girlfriend lesson came 40 years ago when the first love of my life broke up with me. I came to the realization that I had tossed aside my girlfriends for this man. I was so lucky that one of those girlfriends who had been tossed aside picked up the phone that day. Definitely an aha moment. On that day I made a commitment that my girlfriends weren’t to be reconnected with whenever I needed them. I am blessed with an amazing number of Women I Want to Grow Old With….might not be true had I not learned this lesson.

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