Girls' Holidays Are The Key To Happiness According To A Psychologist
You've been telling your best pal for weeks you really need to secure a date for your girls' trip and now it's more imperative than you first thought - because according to a psychologist it is in fact good for your health.
You've always known that those weekends you spent abroad with friends sipping wine on a balcony laughing at past dating stories, or gossiping on sun loungers at the beach had major feel good factor.
And now it's proven it really does contribute to happiness, by social-personality psychologist Dr Chopik.
According to his research, published in Personal Relationships, healthy friendships may have a positive impact on our health and even more so than other types of relationship - so pack your suitcase.
We're not saying forget your partner or your sister, because the research shows these relationships contribute to happiness too, it's just that friendships have less pressure, according to Dr Chopik.
Sometimes dynamics within families can be tricky and naturally there's often a lot riding on a partnership or marriage, whereas friendships tend to be less intense.
He said that friendships "are a way to derive all the benefits of being in a relationship with someone without the enormity of it," which is why they can have an even bigger impact on health and happiness.
In the first study he carried out, a survey of adults valuing friendships "was related to better functioning, particularly among older adults, whereas valuing familial relationships exerted a static influence on health and well‐being across the lifespan."
A second study of older adults showed "only strain from friendships predicted more chronic illnesses over a 6‐year period."
So there you have it. Looking after your friendships is a must. So no more bailing on your pals midweek because you're tired - it's not cool.
Now pair that pal with a few days away from the office, some R&R and a few vinos and you're surely onto a win.
Dr Chopik added that being with your friend face-to-face has much greater value than a chat over the phone.
According to Well and Good he said: "You can sit down, look them in the eye, have a true back-and-forth, and read each other's body language."
"They can see you and your facial expressions.
"You're emotionally responding to things, and you can pick up on their emotions.
"You don't always get that through a phone call."
Now just to choose a date and location...
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