Did you know that when a male prairie vole, a monogamous rodent, is put in a stressful situation he runs to his female partner, and that when female voles are stressed they immediately run to the females with which they were raised?
It seems that we humans have the same type of reaction to stress. Our need for community with other women is biological; it is part of our DNA. In “The Female Brain” author Louann Brizendine talks about how women find biological comfort in one another’s company. Our brain seems to be energized by hormones such as oestrogen to respond to stress with nurturant activities and the creation and maintenance of protective social networks. Quality “girlfriend time" will physically help us create more Dopamine (the motivation and pleasure chemical), Oxytocin (the bonding hormone), and Serotonin - a neurotransmitter that helps combat depression and can create a general feeling of well-being.
Paradoxally, a national survey jointly-conducted by sociologists at Duke University and University of Arizona in 2006 found a sharp decline in friendships. Research co-author Lynn Smith-Lovin, a sociologist at Duke University said, "From a social point of view, it means you've got more people isolated." A lack of strong social ties risks health issues equivalent to those that arise from being overweight or a smoker--it's that bad.
Today marks the beginning of spring! Let's boost our mood, beat winter bues and tax season stress by taking the time to meet up with girlfriends. Life is better with them!
We dare you to put your BFFs on your speed dial or as favorites on your smart phone. Play a game with yourself that has you trying to always keep them on top, meaning among the last people you reached out to. And why not make some new ones at our playdates, like Boxing, Hiking or Stand Up Paddle Boarding?