Women inspire and change the world through their acts of strength, resilience, intelligence, creativity, empathy, and diversity – and their relationships with each other. Female friendships create a community for growth, revelation, emotional support, empowerment, and so much more. Not to mention, they boost your health!
Let’s dig a little bit deeper into some of the ways bonds with other women can enrich our lives.
5 benefits of female friendships
- They foster community
Female friendships create a safe space for women, which empowers them to feel confident and celebrate each other’s successes. These relationships provide emotional support and understanding which is essential to meeting social, emotional, mental, and physical health needs.
- They improve physical and psychological health
Female friendships boost longevity and wellness. Studies, like this one from UCLA, reveal that when women spend time with and confide in one another, oxytocin is released. Commonly known as “the love hormone” or “the cuddle hormone, this neurotransmitter plays a large role in the regulation of stress responses and is associated with feelings of trust, thoughtfulness, and connection. Oxytocin promotes bonding and is correlated to increased empathy and communication. Female friendships and the bonds that ensue allow women to be more in tune with social cues, body language, and voice inflection.
And female friends aren’t just good for your emotional intelligence; they can do wonders for mental health, lessen the impact of negative experiences, and improve coping skills! Bonds between women can decrease stress levels, symptoms of depression, anxiety, loneliness, and isolation. Tapping into a positive network of women can also improve self-esteem and provide comfort, especially when someone is going through a challenging life transition, struggle, or loss.
- They promote personal growth
Not only does the female community maintain the strength and integrity of women, but it also promotes growth. Female friendships allow women to challenge and inspire each other and to take more risks. This Notre Dame study suggests that female friendships at work may lead to career advancement!
And you don’t need to know a woman personally to be inspired by her. Let’s think about some of the most impactful women in history whose boldness continues to inspire women and bring positive change worldwide. From Marie Curie to Rosa Parks to Ruth Badger Ginsburg to Amelia Earhart, there’s no shortage of heroines across all industries.
So, how can we celebrate female friendships?
While there are endless ways to prop each other up, here are a few simple and effective ways to nurture these relationships.
- Plan get-togethers (and follow through with them) - It’s important to save the date and make plans happen. How often have you planned to do something, but didn’t follow through? Set a date/time and planget-togetherss! Whether it’s a large celebration or a simple meet-up, nothing compares to quality time with women to demonstrate your gratitude toward one another. Grab dinner, have a movie night, or try out a new activity together.
- Check-in calls/texts - Life gets busy. If you can’t meet in person, you can still make time to check-in. When women feel valued and appreciated by their friends, they are more likely to feel good about themselves and their abilities.
- Thoughtful gift giving - Gift giving is an act of admiration and a way to demonstrate affection toward someone. Be creative and add a personalized note, and think about their hobbies and lifestyle. It shows that you listen, consider their needs, and care about the relationship.
To truly celebrate our female friendships, we must highlight and acknowledge the value these relationships have in our lives. They cultivate supportive and understanding environments, promote physical and mental well-being, create community, stimulate growth, and truly improve the world.
How will you celebrate your female friendships today?