Why women need other women
Life can change quickly and unexpectedly as we age, and as it does, we rely more and more on the important people in our lives. For many women, those people are our girlfriends – we may have grown up with them or perhaps just met them, but these friendships become increasingly important as we encounter stressful times in our lives.
Think back on the last time you dealt with a health issue, death, or even just a small annoyance. Who was there to take care of you, listen to you vent and support you? Next to family, friends are the greatest support network a person can have. Not only do they get you through hard times, but they also make life more enjoyable.
Most interestingly, however, is that friendships are also essential for overall health and wellbeing. Friends could very well be the secret to happiness – a UCLA School of Medicine study found that women’s brains release oxytocin (otherwise known as the “feel good” hormone) when we’re with our friends. You’re also much more likely to live longer if you have a group of friends – last year, we explained how loneliness is twice as unhealthy as obesity. In fact, it was found that people who were lonely had a 14 per cent higher risk of dying than the average person. Loneliness has also been proven to increase the likelihood of high blood pressure, stroke, heart disease and, unsurprisingly, depression.
Having close friends will make you a better person. It always feels great to give advice to a friend and see them benefit from your help, and knowing what you love in a friend makes you want to be a better friend yourself.
Of course, there are situations where it can be difficult to maintain friendships. You may have moved to a new city or have a new grandchild to occupy your time, making it hard to stay in contact with old friends. Try to make it a priority to set aside some time specifically for your friends, or even to make some new ones. Facebook, email, texting and countless others have made it so easy to stay up to date with the lives of loved ones.
Considering the amount of love and support our friends give us, it’s important to show our appreciation once in a while. So, pay them a visit, take them out for lunch or send them a message just to say thanks for being a friend.