04/10/2013 10:05 AM

04/10/2013 10:05 AM


Last week, my friend sent this story to me:



GIRLFRIENDS: They Teach It at Stanford

In an evening class at Stanford University, the lecture was on the mind-body connection and the relationship between stress and disease.

The speaker (the Head of Psychiatry at Stanford) said  that one of the best things that a man could do for his health is to be married to a woman.

One of the best things that a woman could do for her health was to nurture her relationships with her girlfriends.

At first everyone laughed, but the speaker was serious.

Women connect with each other 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.

We share from our souls with our sisters, mothers,friends, and evidently that is very good for our health.

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, 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 with a gal pal, pat yourself on the back and congratulate yourself for doing something good for your health. We are indeed very, very lucky. 

How lovely, to have someone speak about what we, women, know is so true.

The chance to talk to a girlfriend can make a bad day, better. A well-timed invitation to meet for lunch or at the park with the kids has often been the lifeline that keeps us going. Girlfriends know when to help solve a problem and when to just listen and nod and pat and hug. We make each other laugh. We sympathize about the son's horrible First Grade Teacher or the daughter's mean-girl-in-class. Our girlfriends know when a smile is real and when "I'm fine" means we really aren't. 

I tell my kids "You never stop making friends. You have to work at it, to be good at it!"


The friendship skills that we learn in Kindergarten and in 8th Grade are still needed on the first day of work or at the PTA Meeting. Unfortunately, we can feel just as left out, at age 35, as we did at age 15. Luckily, a warm word of encouragement from a friend can feel just as good at 39 as it did at 18.

Let's be good to our friends. Let's be positive examples for our children. In the spirit of extra serotonin, reach out to a friend today.

Right now.

It will do you both, good.




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