9 Mar 2020, 13:23 — 4 min read
Background: Friendships are special and can be an uplifting force. In her previous article Shalini Sridhar talked about the new skills one needs to embrace in the new year. Here she shares the value of female friendships.
A year ago, I happened to come across a little flyer at my local supermarket. It was an advertisement for a local Zumba class for women. And I thought - Great! This is a good opportunity to make right for one of my new year resolutions at least. I joined the class with some trepidation and realised many who joined were probably in the same boat.
The morning batch of women were somewhere in their mid 30s, some working part-time or were home makers with young children. Fast forward a year later and we all still look forward to meeting and dancing to tunes in the name of fitness.
Studies have shown that when women have girlfriends, it improves their psychological and emotional wellbeing. We lift ourselves up when we lift each other.
I was surprised to find out that each one of us supported one another in little ways. Whether it was to push each another to do just one more sit up, or to give advice about how to treat a cold when one of our kids were ill. Having a great set of girlfriends is directly proportional to being a great friend. Whether it’s a kind word, a hug to say “It’s ok” or to just lend a sympathetic ear when needed.
Studies have shown that when women have girlfriends, it improves their psychological and emotional wellbeing. We lift ourselves up when we lift each other. During stressful times, neurologically women have a surge in oxytocin, a hormone that compels them to bond with one another. Women also tend to be more nurturing and judge less, traits not shared by men.
Studies have also shown that having female friendships have great health benefits. The ideology of ‘tend and befriend’ was introduced by Dr Shelley Klein and Dr Laura Taylor at the University of California, Los Angeles. When social bonds between women are strong, it lowers blood pressure, heart rate and cholesterol - thus making women live longer than men!
I consider myself fortunate to find such a happy and wonderful group of women. A girl squad to share things with, have a laugh together and to generally have fun. For one hour each day for 5 days a week, I found my spirits uplifted. I was able to forget any worries I may have and just be in the moment. I agree that some may say that their husbands or significant other are considered their best friends, but having a group of likeminded girlfriends is always a great recipe for a long and fulfilling life.
So, my lovely ladies out there, if you haven’t already, pick up that phone and call your girlfriend today.
Also read: What women entrepreneurs need in 2020
Image source: shutterstock.com
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