Study Finds Taking A Trip With Your Girlfriends Is Good For Your Mental Health

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This probably doesn’t seem like news to those of us that have been on girls’ trips with our friends – I always feel my shoulders relax, the tension ebb out of me, and it gets easier and easier to smile the longer we’re together – but a recent study shows that the time away does indeed come with great benefits.

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Good friendships, it turns out, play an even more significant role in ensuring a person’s health and happiness than their family ones. William Chopik, a psychologist at Michigan State University, has been following a series of studies on the subject:

“Keeping a few really good friends around can make a world of difference for our health and well-being. So, it’s smart to invest in the friendships that make you happiest.”

That said, you’ll want to make sure you’ve got friends that truly bring you joy instead of something less helpful, like drama or judgement. If you surround yourself with the good sort of friends, research proves the friendships can help lower your risk for heart disease, increase your life expectancy, and help you develop a higher pain tolerance.

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Yeah. It’s weird, but psychologists are actually able to predict the size of a person’s inner circle by testing their tolerance of pain.

Likewise, people with a larger group of good friends are less likely to be depressed and to suffer cognitive decline in their twilight years.

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Making friends after college isn’t easy, and making good friends – not just the parents of your kids’ friends or fellow soccer moms who probably talk about you behind you back, is even harder. If you struggle with social anxiety or just aren’t sure where to start, the New York Times suggests starting simple with good, old fashioned conversation.

Strike one up and see where it leads – your mental health will be the better for it!