Women have now found the perfect excuse to go out with the “girls” twice a week. According to science, Women Should Go Out With Girlfriends Twice A Week To Be Healthier. *This article was revised on 01/06/2020.
Women Should Go Out With Girlfriends Often
Female friendships among women are extremely important and the key ingredient to our happiness and health. Girlfriends are really the best emotional support system we could ever have. Just think about it. A good female friendship is someone you can count on for advice, or simply be heard and understood when you have a problem.
If you enjoy going out with your girlfriends, you should do it more often! Actually women should go out with girlfriends twice a week and this will definitely make you happier and healthier!
About the research:
Robin Dunbar is a renowned psychologist and an advanced investigator. His research is concerned with trying to understand the behavioral, cognitive and neuroendocrinological mechanisms that underpin social bonding in primates (in general) and humans (in particular).
It all started with a social experiment, which was commissioned by beer company Guinness, Dunbar and British social commentator Danny Wallace . The survey involved a small group of male friends, and the results revealed that hanging out with friends twice a week had a positive impact on their overall health.
Health benefits also included faster recovery time from illness, a stronger immune system, a decrease in anxiety levels, and increased generosity levels which makes us feel better overall.
“The figure of twice a week comes from findings that this is the amount of time that you typically spend with your closest friends/family,” Dr. Robin Dunbar told The Huffington Post. “For both sexes (no surprise) having a large, well-integrated social network has a significant impact on both physical and emotional health. People with larger and/or more integrated networks suffer less illness, recover quicker from surgery, are less likely to die — and even their children are less likely to die.”
Is there a science behind female friendships?
Even though the initial experiment was done with men, let’s now explain how this applies to both sexes and why it is especially important for women to go out with friends twice a week for good health. Increasingly, researchers think that the hormone oxytocin is, for women especially, the elixir of friendship — and, by extension, of health.
“Research shows that women, [possibly] more than men, need to maintain friendship connections. It increases serotonin and oxytocin, the bonding hormone,” says Alisa Ruby Bash, PsyD, LMFT. Studies at Stanford seem to confirm this, as did a UCLA study showing that in times of stress, women don’t just experience the drive toward fight or flight — they also release oxytocin. This hormonal surge can compel women to “tend and befriend,” a.k.a., to protect their kids (if they have them), but also to connect with other women.
“We call it a ‘social thermostat’ that keeps track of how well [females’] social supports are going,” Taylor says. When the thermostat reads too low, females tend to reach out to others. When they reach out to others, oxytocin levels rise again and with that prolonged exposure comes a distinctive “calming, warm” effect, says Taylor. “We don’t see the same mechanisms in men,” she adds.
Women reap health benefits from friendships, and maintaining those female bonds becomes even more important as we grow older, according to Dr. Bash. “We get busier, with more responsibilities,” she says. “It makes us feel nurtured and validated to hang out with friends we can be totally ourselves [with], minus the outside pressures.” (SOURCE).
“We have to make those friendships a top priority,” Dr. Bash says. “Schedule girls’ nights and lunches with friends! Do it ahead of time.” Female bonds can solidify your happiness and make you healthier.
Laughter is the best medicine
Being happy doesn’t just make you feel better, it’s also incredibly beneficial for your health. Laughter is strong medicine. It draws people together in ways that trigger healthy physical and emotional changes in the body. Laughter strengthens your immune system, boosts mood, diminishes pain, and protects you from the damaging effects of stress (SOURCE).
Women interact best by making funny comments, joking, and talking about things that make them laugh, but the size of the group is also a big factor. Laughter in small groups is feasible. But when the group is bigger than 5 people, funny situations that generate the necessary endorphins for happiness and wellbeing are less probable. For this reason, it is recommended that women should go out in a group of maximum four friends. The “Sex and the City’s” quartet of friends, is the perfect example.
More health benefits if you also travel with your girlfriends
Check out my post: Traveling With Girlfriends Can Make You Healthier. Yes! we should also take a vacation with our girlfriends! You will be pleasantly surprised to find plenty of other studies on this subject. It is always nice to know our feelings and wellbeing are backed by science. You now have a legitimate scientific reason to book that trip!
Women Should Go Out With Girlfriends To Be Healthier!
Women have very stressful lives, and feel sometimes guilty about leaving the family at home. Most of the time I do, but deep inside I know it shouldn’t be that way. Reality is, we should have some time for ourselves. It is not only about going out and having a few drinks. It is more about getting away from the daily routine, relaxing, and meeting close friends face to face. I think we all need a little bit of that every week to feel better.
A meeting with close friends is always regenerating. Just think about it for a minute. When was the last time you went out with your best friend? How did you feel the following day? In my case I always feel amazing! The truth is that if we feel happier we could be better moms, better wives, better people overall. I believe that when we enrich our lives we improve our health. We definitely should go out with our girlfriends more often and make it a habit.
“I love my husband, but it is nothing like a conversation with a woman that understands you. I grow so much from those conversations.” – Beyonce
What if you just can’t go out as often as recommended (or at all)?
While the study focused on actually going out with girlfriends, I know that for a lot of moms, that’s just not possible. Some are doing it all on their own either as single moms or because their partners travel a lot for work, and they may not always have the option of getting a babysitter. Other moms may just not be ready to leave their babies for many reasons (breastfeeding, health problems, or even just because they simply don’t feel comfortable doing it).
If you simply can’t keep up with twice-a-week dates with your friends, don’t worry, there are other ways to reap the benefits. A girls’ night in is a great alternative that will still get you bonding and laughing with your friends. Plan it for after the kids go to bed so you can really focus on each other. Play some hilarious board games, serve tasty cocktails (as long as everyone has a designated driver, of course), turn it into a relaxing spa night, or just sit around chatting and gossiping.
Need some ideas to keep the night going and avoid those dreaded lags in conversation? Check out a few fantastic girls’ night in essentials below, including a couple of crazy-fun adults-only games, healthy cocktail mixers with natural sweeteners, fun spa night essentials & more.
What about you? Do you believe women should go out with girlfriends to be healthier? How often do you actually go out with your girlfriends?
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Last update on 2022-11-19 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API