“I love my husband, but it is nothing like a conversation with a woman that understands you. I grow so much from those conversations.” – Beyoncé
There’s a reason why Sex and the City was so appealing – a group of fab ladies who supported each other through the thick and thin but still loved to gossip over a martini. As you’ve grown up, got a job and have chosen who to surround yourself with, your girls are not only important for your social life (to remind you that it’s okay to stay out late every once in a while) but also really good for your mental health. When you need to vent about work, get their opinion about a health issue or just have a group to laugh with when you need it most, the close-knit women in your life are there.
The movement of women supporting women is building online and IRL. There is science and research to back up your girl’s trip you have planned for the long weekend: “Research shows that women, [possibly] more than men, need to maintain those connections. It increases serotonin and oxytocin, the bonding hormone,” says Alisa Ruby Bash, PsyD, LMFT. According to other studies, the need for community amoungst women is biological. Having a group of girls surrounding us is also good for our self-esteem, according to a study done by Dove; 70% of women feel prettier because of their relationships with female friends.
Even when we’re busy, stressed or you feel like your calendar might implode, making time to hang out with our girlfriends is important to maintain your sanity. When you can let loose and be your full self with your close friends you automatically lower your stress levels and feel nurtured - something that women need. By prioritizing our female friendships and spending time with these friends, we take advantage of a very simple, natural way to reduce our stress. Plus, you can save a lot of money on therapy if you have a group of friends that will listen to you and help you work through your problems.
If you’re panicking because you don’t have 8 girlfriends to drink cocktails and vacation with, don’t worry! The number of women in your group doesn’t matter, even a group of just a few girlfriends is perfect for finding those feelings of validation and support. Having a relationship or partner is great, but maintaining your female friendships is equally as important. Sometimes men don’t have the same empathetic opinion or are even interested in what you want to talk about – the latest bachelorette season is not up their alley.
Take a minute today to text the women in your life telling them how grateful you are to have them around!