I started posting my blog on December 1st, right after we had a Christmas OVERFLOW group. If you remember, we went “elfing” that night…and everyone in the group still laughs about running around my neighbourhood, leaving Christmas goodies on everyone’s porches! OVERFLOW is the group that I started last summer with women of different ages coming together. We have met five times and tomorrow we are doing it again! The group has grown in number since we started – we now have 5 “older” women and 5 “younger” women – and we all look forward to spending the afternoon together, learning from each other and having a ton of fun in the process.
I strongly believe that women of different ages have a great deal to learn from each other yet we don’t seem to be prioritizing these kind of inter-generational friendships anymore. There are so many demands and distractions in our world that pull us away from healthy interactions. Apparently, Stanford University agrees, as described in an email that was recently sent to my sister-in-law and forwarded to me.
“I just finished taking 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, 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.”
We have so much to learn from our women friends – older and younger!