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Why We Need Our Girlfriends

By Expert HERWriter
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Having just spent the weekend in Palm Springs with my girlfriends, I realize even more the importance of bonding time. Technically we flew down for a conference but by Sunday afternoon as we lounged in the sun poolside, ordering lunch, and laughing about inside jokes, it was clearly a weekend for rejuvenation as well. As it turns out, having healthy relationships with family, friends, and children is every bit as important as exercise, eating healthy, and not smoking.

Some facts about relationships from the research:

1. People with good relationships were 50 percent less likely to die early than those without.
2. Not having social relationships is the equivalent of smoking 15 cigarettes per day.
3. Not having social interactions was like being an alcoholic, more harmful than not exercising, and twice as harmful as being obese.
4. Social relationships had a bigger impact on health than taking blood pressure medication.
5. Lack of social interaction increases your risk for depression and anxiety.
6. Lack of social interaction also increased your risk for heart disease.
7. Seniors lead healthier, happier lives with more social interactions.
8. Good relationships can improve healing time if sick, especially with chronic conditions.
9.Having good quality social outlets can lead to better sleep and more satisfaction with life.
10. Healthy relationships and social outlets can improve cancer outcomes.

By nature, humans are social creatures and it’s important for our stress response and health that we interact on a regular basis. Getting together with your friends, spending family time together, and enjoying your co-workers can make a huge impact on your life. Take the time to treasure those around you because it’s as important to you as it is to them. If you don’t have many social outlets then create them! Take up a class, join a gym, find a hobby, and call your family! It’s important to your health!

Add a Comment2 Comments

To: Anonymous
I hope you reach out to a close friend because women need women. Hearing you describe your husbands social position explains WHY you feel the way you do. Please do yourself a favor and step out of the box or comfort zone, you might be pleasantly surprised ;-) Joining a friendship group in your area might be a good place to start:
Make it a GREAT day...

November 11, 2010 - 5:23pm
EmpowHER Guest

I wish I could be more social, but I find it more stressful to be around people. They are often so judgemental, and I don't need that. I also feel like I might be too much of a disappointment to people, especially my family, so I feel it's better to just stay away. I married a man who's totally a social devient, which I never use to be, so that might have alot to do with how I feel, too.

July 31, 2010 - 10:43am
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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.

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