Thursday, January 26, 2012

Sisters and Girlfriends = Good Medicine

My sister, who has lived in Florence Italy for the last 25 years, emailed this to me this morning. It made me want to hop on a plane so we could hit the gym, do pilates, hike the Tuscan hills, then relax with a smooth bottle of Sangiovese!

Life isn't about surviving the storm; but how you dance in the rain.

They teach this course at Stanford:

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. Sooooo… let's toast to our friendship with our girlfriends. Evidently it’s very good for our health.



  1. TC: I love this post! Having just gotten back from a girls weekend away, I can attest that gal pal time is very beneficial to your health. (If you don't count the extra calories consumed together when eating and drinking, that is!)

  2. Renn - If played hard enough, and laughed hard enough, I am sure you burned all those extra calories :) !

  3. LOVE LOVE LOVE this post, TC. Actually brought a tear to me eye and a giggle remembering some of past girlie outings. What you wrote is a great reminder of what's really important and what is some of the best medicine in the world. Wish you here now... or me there in sunny Arizona. In fact... me there with you! We've had over 3 solid weeks of rain here in SW France. URGH! Girlfriend day out shopping, then drinks and dinner out in the desert is just the ticket. Checking my BA mile points now! :-)