THERE’S nothing better for the soul than taking a girls’ getaway with a bunch of your closest female friends for a weekend of eating, drinking, talking and belly laughing to your heart’s content.
And now it’s been proven that girls’ trips are also beneficial to your mental and physical wellbeing.
Southern Living reports that taking the time out with your best girlfriends actually extends life expectancy, cuts down the risk of heart disease and helps us tolerate pain.
According to the publication, psychologists were able to predict the size of a person’s social network based on how much pain they were able to withstand.
Plus, our close, long-standing friendships – and those soul-enriching trips away - also make us darn happy.
Researchers say that spending quality time with mates increases the production of the “love hormone” oxytocin, which has been shown to make people more trusting, friendlier and more generous.
“Keeping a few really good friends around can make a world of difference for our health and wellbeing,” Michigan State University psychologist, William Chopik, told Southern Living.
“So, it’s smart to invest in the friendships that make you happiest.”
Sadly the outlook is not as bright for those who don’t have close friendships and an active social life.
Harvard researchers have found strong links between loneliness and depression, cognitive decline and a lower life expectancy.
“Social connections 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.”
Needless to say, there’s never been a better time to book that girls’ minibreak - all in the name of science, of course.