Women should go out with girlfriends twice a week for better health -Research
Women have now found the perfect excuse to go out with the “girls” twice a week. According to science, women should go out with hirlfriends twice a week to be healthier.
Female friendships among women are extremely important and the key ingredient to our happiness and health. Girlfriends are really the best emotional support system we could ever have. Just think about it. A good female friendship is someone you can count on for advice, or simply be heard and understood when you have a problem.
According to a research by Robin Dunbar, who is a renowned psychologist and an advanced investigator, his research is concerned with trying to understand the behavioural, cognitive and neuroendocrinological mechanisms that underpin social bonding in primates (in general) and humans (in particular).
It all started with a social experiment, which was commissioned by beer company Guinness, Dunbar and British social commentator Danny Wallace . The survey involved a small group of male friends, and the results revealed that hanging out with friends twice a week had a positive impact on their overall health.
Health benefits also included faster recovery time from illness, a stronger immune system, a decrease in anxiety levels, and increased generosity levels which makes us feel better overall.
“The figure of twice a week comes from findings that this is the amount of time that you typically spend with your closest friends/family,” Dr. Robin Dunbar told The Huffington Post. “For both sexes (no surprise) having a large, well-integrated social network has a significant impact on both physical and emotional health. People with larger and/or more integrated networks suffer less illness, recover quicker from surgery, are less likely to die — and even their children are less likely to die.”
Is there a science behind female friendships?
Even though the initial experiment was done with men, let’s now explain how this applies to both sexes and why it is especially important for women to go out with friends twice a week for good health. Increasingly, researchers think that the hormone oxytocin is, for women especially, the elixir of friendship — and, by extension, of health.
“Research shows that women, [possibly] more than men, need to maintain friendship connections. It increases serotonin and oxytocin, the bonding hormone,” says Alisa Ruby Bash, PsyD, LMFT. Studies at Stanford seem to confirm this, as did a UCLA study showing that in times of stress, women don’t just experience the drive toward fight or flight — they also release oxytocin. This hormonal surge can compel women to “tend and befriend,” a.k.a., to protect their kids (if they have them), but also to connect with other women.
“We call it a ‘social thermostat’ that keeps track of how well [females’] social supports are going,” Taylor says. When the thermostat reads too low, females tend to reach out to others. When they reach out to others, oxytocin levels rise again and with that prolonged exposure comes a distinctive “calming, warm” effect, says Taylor. “We don’t see the same mechanisms in men,” she adds.
Women reap health benefits from friendships, and maintaining those female bonds becomes even more important as we grow older, according to Dr. Bash. “We get busier, with more responsibilities,” she says. “It makes us feel nurtured and validated to hang out with friends we can be totally ourselves [with], minus the outside pressures.” (SOURCE).
“We have to make those friendships a top priority,” Dr. Bash says. “Schedule girls’ nights and lunches with friends! Do it ahead of time.” Female bonds can solidify your happiness and make you healthier.
If you enjoy going out with your girlfriends, you should do it more often!
Culled from www. creativehealthfamily.com