Do you enjoy going out with your best friends? You should do it more often! This will definitely make you happier and healthier! Wine, anyone?
The study was done by a group of researchers from the University of Oxford. The investigation revealed the necessary steps that a woman needs to take to achieve happiness in all aspects of her life. The study discovered the basis would be in women feeling free to go out with their girlfriends at least twice a week.
About the study:
Robin Dunbar, a renowned psychologist and head of this study, reported that women’s overall health and wellbeing is improved when they get together with four best friends twice a week in meetings where they “do things”.
According to the study, the list of “things” included: drinking beer, gossiping, and talking about their rivals (preferred topic). Doing these “things” make women socialize, drink and laugh together.
Health benefits also included faster recovery time from illness, a stronger immune system, a decrease in anxiety levels, and increased generosity levels which makes women feel better overall.
“The figure of twice a week comes from our 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.”
Most women don’t go out with their friends often
Nonetheless, the researchers also noted that only 2 out of 5 women can actually go out with their girlfriends once a week, and even less often if they have family to care for.
The investigation also looked at the quality of interactions with friends, according to the number of people and time spent. Women on average reserve a little less than half their time nurturing close friendships.
Laughter is the best medicine
The study found that women interact best by making funny comments, joking, and talking about things that make them laugh, but the size of the group is also a big factor.
Laughter in small groups is feasible. But when the group is bigger than 5 people, funny situations that generate the necessary endorphins for happiness and wellbeing are less probable. For this reason, it is recommended to meet in a group of maximum of four friends.
Is there also a science behind female friendships?
“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.
Maintaining those 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.”
More health benefits if you also travel with your girlfriends
Yes! we should also take a vacation with our girlfriends! You will be pleasantly surprised to find plenty of other studies on this subject. It is always nice to know our feelings and wellbeing are backed by science. You now have a legitimate scientific reason to book that trip!
Women have very stressful lives, and feel somtimes guilty about leaving the family at home. Most of the time I do, but deep inside I know it shouldn’t be that way. Reality is, we should have some time for ourselves. It is not only about going out and having a few drinks. It is more about getting away from the daily routine, relaxing, and meeting close friends face to face. I think we all need a little bit of that every week to feel better, and this study is proof!
A meeting with close friends is always regenerating. Just think about it for a minute. When was the last time you went out with your best friend? How did you feel the following day? In my case I always feel amazing! The truth is that if we feel happier we could be better moms, better wives, better people overall. I believe that when we enrich our lives we improve our health. We definitely should go out with our girlfriends more often and make it a habit.
What about you? How often do you go out with your girlfriends?
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