This is the best excuse you need to book a holiday with your girlfriends.
This is the best excuse you need to book a holiday with your girlfriends.

Girls’ trips are good for your health

WE KNOW you don't need another excuse to grab your girlfriends, pack an overnight bag with bottles of prosecco and head off for a weekend away, but here's one anyway.

A girls' getaway is actually beneficial to your health, and that's not us talking - that's science.

Southern Living reports taking time to spend with your best girlfriends can improve mental and physical health.

That's because studies have found those friendships can actually extend life expectancy, cut down risk of heart disease and even help us tolerate pain.

A 2016 study found evidence spending time with our mates could increase our bodies' production of oxytocin, the feel-good hormone associated with social bonding.

Harvard researchers agree, saying strong relationships can have a huge impact on health.

"Social connections like these not only give us pleasure, they also influence our long-term health in ways every bit as powerful as adequate sleep, a good diet and not smoking," they said.

"Dozens of studies have shown that people who have satisfying relationships with family, friends, and their community are happier, have fewer health problems and live longer."

 

These pals are in for a long and happy life.
These pals are in for a long and happy life.

 

On the flip side, the researchers suggested those who didn't have close friendships were more prone to depression, later-life cognitive decline and could also be destined for a shorter life.

One study into 309,000 people found a lack of strong social ties increased the risk of premature death from all causes by 50 per cent - about the same as smoking up to 15 cigarettes a day.

A Dutch study in 2012 found strong links between dementia and people's sense of loneliness.

And then there's all the research that associates good health with laughter - an inevitable component of any good holiday with our mates.

And if you need more proof that friends are the answer, psychologist William Chopik, from Michigan State University, found as we got older our friendships were a stronger predictor of health and happiness than even our relationships with family, according to Southern Living.

"Keeping a few really good friends around can make a world of difference for our health and wellbeing," he said.

"So, it's smart to invest in the friendships that make you happiest."

If that isn't a good enough reason to book that girls' getaway right now, we don't know what is.



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