Many people make fun of “girl’s trips”. These are mini-vacations that a bunch of women who are friends enjoy, going out together to have a great time and enjoy themselves.
But did you know that, scientifically, these types of holidays can be just the ticket to providing relief for mental health struggles?
Girl’s trips are a fantastic way to keep your friendships strong and build deeper bonds, and good friendships are known to be wonderful for mental health.
William Chopik, who is a psychologist at Michigan State University, conducted numerous studies that indicated that having a few very close and treasured friends is fantastic for happiness and wellbeing.
Sadly, many of us get wrapped up in work and neglect friendships, and that’s why a girl’s trip can be so helpful.
Of course, going on holiday with other people can be stressful, so you have to make sure you’re going with the right friends.
Go with people who make you feel good and who allow you to be your very best self.
Research has also shown that positive friendships can elongate your life.
They can lead to a lower heart disease risk, and they, surprisingly, even allow you to have better pain tolerance.
Psychologists can actually accurately predict the size and quality of someone’s social circle based on their pain tolerance.
If you have a very low pain tolerance, you may not have enough friends, or you might be friends with all the wrong kinds of people.
Scientists have also been able to determine why spending a fun day with your close, good friends can help improve your health.
Research done in 2016 found that a feel-good hormone known as oxytocin, which is generally produced when you are happy, is produced at much higher levels when you go out with friends.
This can help put a spring in your step for the next few days, and it also makes you a better person, causing better generosity and friendliness.
Science has also indicated that those with larger social circles of good friends tend to have a lower risk of developing clinical depression.
Those who do not maintain a healthy group of friends are also likely to experience cognitive decline and may even pass away earlier.
This is why having a good social group and a good number of friends is so important as you grow older.
If you currently don’t have that many friends, it may be time to start trying to make them.
Of course, we do know just how difficult it can be to try and go out and make friends.
It’s a daunting experience, especially for those in new locations, or those who deal with social anxiety or similar problems.
But you don’t have to go out and approach random people – start with already familiar faces.
Start talking more to colleagues. Join a club for something you’re interested in, or take a class.
You’re likely to get along better with people who already share your interests!
Listen to others and be open about yourself, and you’ll be well on your way to making friends.