I have the most awesome readers leaving comments!
If you drop cards then there is no way that you don’t know who Julie is.
She’s the brains behind Cool Mom Guide etc.
Julie left me this message;
You’re kickin ass and takin names girl. Just don’t overwork yourself, everyone seems to be getting burnt lately. You rock!
You’re not so bad on commenting. Don’t be so hard on yourself. You’re very busy with all your posting.
Stacy (the Random Cool Chick) aka mother of Princess N says:
Don’t beat yourself up so much – you are Wonder Woman with all that you do!! It seems I’m always trying to catch up, and the faster I go, the further behind I get…LOL!! I am humbled in your presence!
Okay, I know it’s only a virtual world of friendships and networking but, friendships, no matter what kind of form they bless you in, are important.
My friend Janice only leave by me for a few years and she moved away over four years ago. This morning I found this in an email that Janice sent to me.
UCLA STUDY ON FRIENDSHIP AMONG WOMEN
By Gale Berkowitz
A landmark UCLA study suggests friendships between women are special. They shape who we are and who we are yet to be. They soothe our
tumultuous inner world, fill the emotional gaps in our marriage, and help
us remember who we really are. By the way, they may do even more.
Scientists now suspect that hanging out with our friends can actually
counteract the kind of stomach-quivering stress most of us experience on
a daily basis. A landmark UCLA study suggests that women respond to
stress with a cascade of brain chemicals that cause us to make and
maintain friendships with other women. It’s a stunning find that has
turned five decades of stress research—most of it on men—upside down.
“Until this study was published, scientists generally believed that when
people experience stress, they trigger a hormonal cascade that revs the
body to either stand and fight or flee as fast as possible,”
explains Laura Cousino Klein, Ph.D., now an Assistant Professor of
Biobehavioral Health at Penn State University and one of the study’s
authors. “It’s an ancient survival mechanism left over from the time we
were chased across the planet by saber-toothed tigers.
Now the researchers suspect that women have a larger behavioral
repertoire than just “fight or flight.” “In fact,” says Dr. Klein,”it
seems that when the hormone oxytocin is released as part of the stress
responses in a woman, it buffers the “fight or flight” response and
encourages her to tend children and gather with other women instead. When
she actually engages in this tending or befriending, studies suggest that
more oxytocin is released, which further counters stress and produces a
calming effect. This calming response does not occur in men”, says Dr.
Klein, “because testosterone—which men produce in high levels when
they’re under stress—seems to reduce the effects of oxytocin.
Estrogen”, she adds, “seems to enhance it.”
The discovery that women respond to stress differently than men was made in a classic “aha!” moment shared by two women scientists who were talking one day in a lab at UCLA. “There was this joke that when the
women who worked in the lab were stressed, they came in, cleaned the lab,
had coffee, and bonded”, says Dr. Klein. “When the men were stressed,
they holed up somewhere on their own. I commented one day to fellow
researcher Shelley Taylor that nearly 90% of the stress research is on
males. I showed her the data from my lab, and the two of us knew
instantly that we were onto something.”
The women cleared their schedules and started meeting with one scientist
after another from various research specialties. Very quickly, Drs. Klein
and Taylor discovered that by not including women in stress research,
scientists had made a huge mistake: The fact that women respond to stress differently than men has significant implications for our health.
It may take some time for new studies to reveal all the ways that oxytocin encourages us to care for children and hang out with other
women, but the “tend and befriend” notion developed by Drs. Klein and
Taylor may explain why women consistently outlive men. Study after study
has found that social ties reduce our risk of disease by lowering blood
pressure, heart rate, and cholesterol. “There’s no doubt,” says Dr.
Klein, “that friends are helping us live.” In one study, for example,
researchers found that people who had no friends increase d their risk of
death over a 6-month period. In another study, those who had the most
friends over a 9-year period cut their risk of death by more than 60%.
Friends are also helping us live better. The famed Nurses’ Health Study
from Harvard Medical School found that the more friends women had, the
less likely they were to develop physical impairments as they aged, and
the more likely they were to be leading a joyful life. In fact, the
results were so significant, the researchers concluded, that not having
close friends or confidantes was as detrimental to your health as smoking
or carrying extra weight! And that’s not all! When the researchers looked
at how well the women functioned after the death of their spouse, they
found that even in the face of this biggest stressor of all, those women
who had a close friend confidante were more likely to survive the
experience without any new physical impairments or permanent loss of
vitality. Those without friends were not always so fortunate.
Yet if friends counter the stress that seems to swallow up so much of our
life these days, if they keep us healthy and even add years to our life,
why is it so hard to find time to be with them? That’s a question that
also troubles researcher Ruthellen Josselson, Ph.D., co-author of “Best
Friends: The Pleasures and Perils of Girls’ and Women’s Friendships
(Three Rivers Press, 1998).
“Every time we get overly busy with work and family, the first thing we do is let go of friendships with other women,” explains Dr. Josselson. “We push them right to the back burner. That’s really a mistake because women are such a source of strength to each other. We nurture one another. And we need to have unpressured space in which we can do the special kind of talk that women do when they’re with other women. It’s a very healing experience.”
Taylor, S. E., Klein, L.C., Lewis, B. P., Gruenewald, T. L., Gurung, R.
A. R., & Updegraff, J. A. Female Responses to Stress: Tend and Befriend,
Not Fight or Flight
My point is, so what if you’ll never physically meet me, Diana, Lola, Jo, Stacy or Julie and everyone else.
We are all friends and the friendship as females is important to our survival.
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