When we are with our friends, we share and keep each other’s secrets, bare you soul, boost each other’s confidence, care for each other’s young and inspire more of life’s adventures. Since the beginning of human cultures, women have bonded together for protection and mutual support. In, the earliest of matriarchal civilizations, women danced with love for each other in the birthing and healing process.
But, “girlfriend power” is beginning to touch upon the secrets of scientific discoveries! Our friendship’s not only protects us from life’s hardships but also lowers blood pressure, boosts immunity and promotes healing. This may even explain why women have lower rates of heart disease and higher life expectancies than men do.
In the times of stress, women tend to be more social with their friends. As compared to men who react to stress with a “fight or flight” reaction with aggression or withdrawal. However, friendships invite comfort and lessen the ill effects of stress. There is a sense of well-being with “girlfriends” even in the most difficult times in life.
Researchers believe that the hormone oxytocin, especially for women, is the elixir of health and well-being.
Present in men as well, oxytocin levels rise after childbirth and when nursing. But, ocytocin levels also rise in times of isolation and stress. And, when the hormone interacts with estrogen, studies have shown that it impels women to seek the company of others.
A woman’s social thermostat keeps track of how well social supports are going. When the thermostat reads to low, women seek the comfort of friends. In reaching out to others, women’s oxytocin levels rise again and with prolonged exposure, they enjoy a “calming, warm,” effect.
Are you ready for some “girlfriend power and love”??