Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Think for a moment about your women’s networks. I look back over my life and can trace my history by looking at my girlfriends.
There were my neighborhood and school girl friends: Becky and Theresa. 
There were my church friends: Janet and Pam and Liz and Debbie.
Then there were my college friends: five of us - Susan, Brenda, Sandy, Sharon and me.  We sang together throughout college and after.
Then there were my teacher friends: Dee, Sherrie, Phyllis, and Francis
There were my single friends like Paulina.
Now there are my Christ Church friends and girl, do I have friends - a whole sisterhood of friends, women who will pray for me and laugh with me and generally do life with me.
I just can’t imagine life without friends.

In a study published in the Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, researchers asked participants to stand at the base of a steep hill and estimate how tough it would be to climb. Those standing with a friend judged the climb to be less steep compared with those who were alone.

Another study on the importance of showed the survival rate of women with breast cancer. It found that those women who had a strong, supportive circle of friends outlived by many years their counterparts who lived in social isolation.

A study from Harvard Medical School showed that the more friends women have, the less likely they are to develop physical impairments as they age, and the more likely they are to lead a contented life. The study also showed that not having friends is as hurtful to your health as being overweight or smoking cigarettes. The researchers examined how well the women functioned after the death of a spouse and found that even in the face of this major life loss, women with close friends with whom they can share their burdens fare better than women who lack close friendships.

Do you ever get so involved in your busy life that you don’t take time to nurture your friendships? Look at these reasons to do so:
1 1.   Friendships can reduce stress.
A UCLA study suggests that women respond to stress with a flow of brain chemicals that cause us to make and maintain friendships with other women. The hormone oxytocin is released as part of stress response, and in women, oxytocin triggers an immediate desire to seek and maintain relationships in response to stress. Imagine that! Stress encourages us to bond with other women!
22.   Friendships provide accountability.
Having a community of women that you share your goals and dreams with keeps you accountable to yourself. We all need affirmation to keep us going!  
33.   Friends lengthen your life.
Research supports the finding that having a network of social contacts helps people have longer, healthier, happier lives. When you live your full of a sense of purpose, you wake up every day with something to look forward to.
Friends support your goals.
Good friends encourage you to keep keeping on. They help you meet your goals instead of hindering your efforts.

Having a sisterhood is good for our mind, body, soul, and spirit. So many reality shows are devoted to unhealthy female relationships. They depict women arguing, belittling each other, gossiping, and tearing each other down. A true sisterhood is nothing like this. I encourage you to nurture your friendships, lift up other women, and focus on the good in others.
Let’s hear it for the sisterhood!

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