Yes, Your Girlfriends Actually Help You Live Longer And Healthier

It all started with Googling how to write a maid of honour speech.

I was looking for quotes about friendship for some inspiration and happen to stumble on a few – ok, a lot – of articles around the effect that friendship, specifically female friendships have on our psychological, emotional and physical well-being. For those of us fortunate to have soul sisters or sisters from other misters as those sayings go it really had me thinking. These are the type of friends we know we can pick up with no matter how long has passed, we can text them any time of day with a question, a joke, sometimes a cry for help. How often do we text or call just to say thank you? Are these moments to show gratitude reserved for rare and special occasions like a wedding speech? They shouldn’t be.

Photo: Julian Moniz.

Photo: Julian Moniz.

Writing for and about my friend, Stefania, the bride to be who will walk down the aisle this weekend, I could barely see through the tears. The gratitude I felt for her and everything she’s done for me, let alone the happiness I felt for her as she will soon become a Mrs. overwhelmed me. I wouldn’t be who I am without her, do what I’ve done without her and now I know it’s not just me being in my feelings, but that science has the answers. You probably have a friend like this too, check out these findings and share it, because as the great Beyoncé said: “I love my husband, but it is nothing like a conversation with a woman that understands you. I grow so much from those conversations.”

The fountain of youth is shared with your girls

Seriously. According to The Tending Instinct, by Shelley E. Taylor, women with strong female social ties live longer than those without them. Another study in the  Psychiatry Journal, Loneliness, depression and sociability in old age, found that “There is a growing body of evidence that suggests that psychological and sociological factors have a significant influence on how well individuals age.” More face mask parties with the girls will have dual purposes now.

Don’t stress

It’s automatic we turn to our friends for comfort when dealing with work, romance, and overall adulting stress. But a study from the University of College London found that female friendships greatly affect how women cope with stress. Maintaining these bonds actually help release oxytocin, that helpful little hormone that reduces tension and produces a calming effect.  Another study from UCLA also found that just being with our girlfriends helps our bodies emit oxytocin.

Support your self-love

We’ve all experienced toxic friendships and relationships, hopefully, we’ve found the ability to cut those people off. But when you surround yourself with true, ride-or-die friends it does a number on your self-esteem. One study by Dove found that 70% of women feel prettier thanks to their girlfriends. With the right girls around you, it may feel like Destiny’s Child all the time.

Photos: Eksena Productions

Photos: Eksena Productions