A few weeks ago, I participated on a panel at the IOB Self-Care Symposium, hosted by Dixie Lincoln- Nichols.
We spoke about women’s lack of self-care, financial health, stress and why women need connections and relationships with other women. It isn’t only emotionally necessary but it is good for our heath!
Many of us when we rush around running our busy lives, we isolate ourselves. This causes us to feel lonely, it can cause us to become depressed and have anxiety. I know by having raised 4 children over a 20-year span while running and building more than one business, I have been there. I have felt all of these emotions. Which is why I know that making connections and connecting like-minded women is such a passion of mine.
Judy Banks, a Stress management and longevity coach, an ETTWomen Member and friend says, “When faced with stress, humans experience what is termed the “fight-or-flight” response. Until recently, it was believed that men and women respond biologically to stress in the same way, with heightened levels of adrenaline and cortisol flooding our physiology giving us the strength we need to deal with the stress. However, a landmark UCLA study determined that when women experience stress, the hormone oxytocin is also released. Oxytocin buffers the stress response and encourages the “tend-and-befriend” response which draws women to seek out social contact with other women in order to deal with the stress they are experiencing. This tendency towards forming strong social alliances during times of stress draws women together and creates a network of support that further empowers them to deal with the situation at hand. The relevance of this study is bolstered by data that confirms that women who have strong social networks with other women are less likely to be depressed, heal more quickly, and actually have longer lifespans.”
In case you are still not convinced that it is crucial to building relationships with women who lift you up and you feel good to be around here is another study. This one was called The Health Study By Nurses did at Harvard Medical School. It 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 confirmed that not having friends or confidants is as detrimental to your health as being overweight or smoking cigarettes. Imagine that? If that doesn’t give you enough motivation to go and find a group that suits you. It can be in person and you can also have a virtual group you are fond of. Look for a group of women that you feel good when you are around. A group that lifts you up and isn’t worried about competing with you but focuses on collaboration!
Remember that doing this can be as important as eating healthy and working out.
Together we truly do achieve more!