Saturday, January 25, 2014

Don't Put Your Friends On The Back Burner

by Mary Kennedy

    New research from UCLA has proven something we've always known. Friendships--especially friendships between women--are special. (Yes, I know I featured a dog and cat in the photo, but I just couldn't resist! Animals form strong bonds, too.) Friendships between women are deep and long-lasting and are vitally important for mental health. They help us deal with the day to day stress of our complicated lives, fill the emotional gaps in our marriage and relationships and help us develop a fuller understanding of who we really are.

A close female friend can understand you at a "gut level" and help you maintain emotional stability. The sense of being needed, being understood (and not judged) is crucial to our sense of well-being. A recent study showed that spending 45 minutes a week chatting with a close female friend can be as helpful as psychotherapy in easing depressive symptoms.

It's easy to put friendships on the back burner when we're overwhelmed with responsibilities, but that's a mistake. Friendships are a gift to treasure. Do you have a close female friend, a confidante, someone who is always there for you? I hope so, because she can make you feel happier, healthier and more resilient.

by Mary Kennedy