Monday, February 28, 2011


From a student at Stanford University... 

I just finished taking an evening class at Stanford. The last lecture was on the mind/body connection - the relationship between stress and disease. The speaker (head of Psychiatry at Stanford) said, among other things, that one of the best things that a man could do for his health is to be married to a woman, whereas for a woman, one of the best things she could do for her health was to nurture her relationships with her girlfriends.

At first everyone laughed, but he was serious.

Women connect with each other differently and provide support systems that help each other to deal with stress and difficult life experiences. Physically this quality “girlfriend time" helps us to create more serotonin - a neurotransmitter that helps combat depression and can create a general feeling of well being. Women share feelings whereas men often form relationships around activities. They rarely sit down with a buddy and talk about how they feel about certain things or how their personal lives are going. Jobs? Yes. Sports? Yes. Cars? Yes. Fishing, hunting, golf? Yes. But their feelings? Rarely.

Women do it all of the time. We share from our souls with our sisters/mothers, and evidently that is very good for our health. He said that spending time with a friend is just as important to our general health as jogging or working out at a gym.

There's a tendency to think that when we are "exercising" we are doing something good for our bodies, but when we are hanging out with friends, we are wasting our time and should be more productively engaged—not true. In fact, he said that failure to create and maintain quality personal relationships with other humans is as dangerous to our physical health as smoking!

Yours, Sue


  1. couldn't agree more with this

  2. Great post! I can relate to this.

    Men and women are different, and expecting a boyfriend/husband to be more like a girl friend can put a strain on the relationship, in my opinion. So I think that while a woman and man in a relationship should confide in each other and be as close as they can, a girl having a good girl friend relieves the pressure from the guy to often speak about how he feels to comfort her. I think it's good for a guy to talk about how he feels (not to feel like he can never cry or express his emotions), although I agree that women do it more (and feel the need to do it more). :)

  3. :) As soon as I read this I was looking forward to hearing what you guys had to say. Thanks for your words.

  4. I actually think men talk to each other about their feelings a lot more than we think. You might not do so, but I really feel it happens much more than we tend to think. I have stumbled upon and overheard MANY emotional man-to-man conversations to think otherwise....and it wasn't just superficial life chit-chat while fishing or working on cars.

    I need to spend more time with friends.

  5. I agree with this. I know many guys have trouble bringing up serious topics with their buddies. Where girls rely on each other more to get them through things.

  6. I agree with this--now--but it was a slow lesson to learn.

    Thanks for sharing!

  7. I don't know Becca, maybe we're just around different crowds. I agree with you about the last part though. ♥

    Jill/Heather, thanks for your words. I found the letter something I could relate to.