"If you want to grow up to be a woman of brains, beauty and power, link hands with others."
Some of us have biological sisters – the females we were raised with who shared a parent or two and stole our clothes. But what about the other women we are surrounded by who we call when we are upset, who understand decades of our backstory and who share laughs that no one else finds funny? This tribe is our sisterhood and not only is it imprinted in our DNA but the lack of a strong sisterhood can actually have a negative effect on our health.
In a book by Shelley E. Taylor, she lays out several studies that indicate that women are more social, more collaborative, more focused on community and less competitive than men. Women without strong social ties, single and married, and single men have the shortest life expectancies. Health issues associated with weak social ties are equivalent to being overweight or a smoker.
We also have different “fight or flight” responses than men in that during times of stress, we want to tend to our children and be with our friends. This is probably because when we are with our sisters our bodies emit more oxytocin and that helps us reduce stress! By spending time with each other and prioritizing those relationships we have a natural way to reduce stress and that mean hormone, cortisol.
We also have similar experiences and can find comfort and camaraderie in those who we relate to so easily. If we share our stories we often discover that we are not alone and someone else has been through the same thing. This can range from sharing details about a new yoga studio that has an awesome instructor to the hard stuff, like grief, loss, depression and illness.
Any kind of friendship is great but there is magic in sisterhood that can’t be duplicated and it’s absence can leave a glaring hole in your life.
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This article is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any medical issue or disease. The author does not in any way guarantee or warrant the accuracy, completeness, or usefulness of this article and will not be held responsible for the content of this article. The information in this article is not intended to replace a personal relationship with a qualified health care professional and is not intended as medical advice. Always consult your personal health care provider for specific medical advice.