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Archive for June 22nd, 2007

 This is an excerpt from an article I read by Joan Boyrsenko, PhD.  Although I don’t agree with all of her teachings, I think this makes a lot of sense.

Evidence suggests that intimate friendships help banish stress and improve mood.  English resarcher Tirril Harris studied the effect of having a confidante on 86 depressed women.  After a year of regular meetings with “befrienders” who were assigned to them, 65% of the women recovered from their depression, compared with only 40% of those who’d been assigned to a waiting list.  The positive effects of friendship were comparable to those of antidepressants or cognitive therapy. 

When women get stressed, our instinct is often to find a friend and talk things through.  Both touch and talk release the hormone oxytocin (yes, it’s the same stuff that initiates labor in pregnant women and then the flow of milk).  Oxytocin is profoundly calming—a powerful balm for body and mind.  No wonder we feel better after talking to a friend.  The ongoing Nurses Health Study conducted at Harvard Medical School and Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston reported that the more friends a woman has, the less likely she is to develop physical impairments with age.

I’m Too Busy

Although friendship reduces stress, sometimes we feel too stressed by time pressures to nurture relationships.  Here are a few tips for nurturing friendships:

  • Aprreciate new distances.  If an old pal moves across the country or now travels in different social circles, she could be your most trusted confidante–and the best source for unbiased advice or a fresh perspective on your life.
  • Embrace technology–and I don’t mean just e-mail.  Sharing online photo albums, greeting cards, and personal Web sites with your entire group of friends is a fun way to stay involved in each other’s lives.
  • Double–book your schedule.  If you don’t have time to catch up with friends who’ve slipped out of touch, fit them in during chores or exercise.  Cook dinner together over the phone, or meet up for brisk evening walks.
  • Create an ongoing tradition like themed pot-luck dinners.  Take turns planning and choosing each event. 

You can see why it is important that we take advantage of getting together for fellowship.  When your ladies group has an outing, dinner, baby shower, bridal shower, work day at the church, etc.  Be sure and go and participate.  Have you ever noticed that the happiest people in your congregation are usually the ones who are the most involved?  Even the Bible talks about friendship in many differant passages.  One of my favorite is,   Acts 2:42 And they continued stedfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers.  This lets me know that not only is the doctrine right and important but fellowship and breaking bread together (not just the Lord’s supper) is just as important because they were steadfast about it. 

Call a friend today.  It may be someone you haven’t talked to in awhile.  And be sure and stay connected to your old friends.  Family is also a great source for friendships.  Oh and don’t forget JESUS!  He’s a friend the sticks closer than a brother!  Those things you can’t tell to just anyone……well you can always tell Jesus.  He’s a great listener and advice giver.  His word is incredible.  READ IT!

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