Science Shows That Your BFF Is Totally Helping to Keep You Sane
Whether it’s dude drama, new job disasters or the never-ending struggle to find the best smudge-proof eyeliner, you know you can turn to your BFFs for help on just about anything that’s stressing you out. But while you and your girls tell each other basically every detail of your lives, it might seem like your guy friends rarely bond over anything deeper than their issues with pro basketball. If you’ve ever wondered why that is, science might finally be getting closer to an answer — and there could be more to it than just how boys and girls are taught to feel about expressing feelings.
According to a new study from the Hotchkiss Brain Institute at the University of Calgary, Canada, there’s some new evidence that men and women cope with stress differently, and it has a lot to do with how we socialize. While social interaction is proven to mitigate the effects of stress across the board (or gender gap), and recent research has suggested that social isolation affects young girls more deeply than boys, this is one of only a few studies that takes a close look at what exactly goes on in the brain when someone is dealing with that kind of lack-of-friend drama.
Or rather, when some mouse is dealing with it. The researchers studied male and female mice in group conditions, pairs and isolation, and their brains reacted very differently when subjected to that last configuration. While the Mickeys seemed to cope with being by themselves just fine, the Minnies who’d been isolated from the rest of the pack experienced a release of a chemical in the brain called corticosterone, which is produced in response to stress conditions. To further examine the difference in male and female stress reactions, later the researchers had the mice experience a physical stress test (a 20-minute swim), and in that case, both sexes showed increased corticosterone. So basically, while both sexes have the capacity to experience stress, only the females got stressed out by being socially isolated.
So what does this mean for you, as a non-rodent human? Well, more research is needed to see if these same patterns translate in other species, but if it would appear that having a tight group of friends is especially critical for women to maintain a low-stress existence, and we might even be biologically wired to seek it out. But until science can catch up and actually prove that, feel free to play it safe and keep saying “yes” to every ladies’ night invite — you know, for your health.
How do your friends help you manage stress? Tweet us your tips @BritandCo.
(Photo via Getty)
It can be intimidating to step out on your own and build a business from the ground up. As part of our collaboration with Office Depot, we're talking with Selfmade alum and solopreneur Colette Lawrence, the faith-based motivator and relationship builder behind The M.E.E. Movement, about ways in which women in business can find success.
B + C: How did you know M.E.E. Movement was your business to start?
The M.E.E Movement represents motivation, empowerment, and encouragement for women. It is what represents me. I did not know at first that it was my business to start, but then the thought of monetizing what I loved came to me. It scared me, however. I registered the business in July 2020 and have been slowly building my wings since.
B + C: What's one strategy that's helped you start your business?
Thinking through and researching what the requirements are to start my business, and then asking questions of people who are in the business. Not all advice worked; however, it helped me to figure out what I needed to do and not to do.
B + C: Did you always know life coaching would be your entrepreneurial path?
(Smiles) No, I did not. I 'stumbled" on it. I knew that people were always coming to me for advice and I found that I loved having conversations with them, especially with women, young and old.
B + C: What was your most valuable takeaway from Selfmade?
My most valuable takeaway was the first day of training: Get out of your own way. There were a lot of great moments and important takeaways from every presenter. However, getting out of my own way, pushing past doubts, was for me my most valuable takeaway. Doing something that I had never done before took courage. If I do not focus on what is happening with me mentally then I cannot deliver to my clients successfully.
B + C: What's one piece of advice you would give to female entrepreneurs on the brink of starting?
Get out of your head. You have something to offer. You have what you need to succeed so go ahead and do it.
B + C: How do you stay motivated?
I stay motivated by listening to music and listening to motivational speakers, and sometimes someone will just reach out and talk about the impact that I made in their life. That adds the extra juice or sauce I need to pummel through the day.
B + C: What's your best organizational tip?
Keep a diary and journal. It's the best way for me to keep organized and it also provides a source motivation as I record not only my "losses" but my wins as well.
B + C: Who inspires you in the entrepreneurial space?
Shirley Toliver – She motivates and empowers and makes me always want to show up.
B + C: What has receiving the Office Depot scholarship to Selfmade done to help you start or grow your business?
The scholarship was a blessing in that all the areas that were covered offered valuable information that I needed, from social media to HR. As a new business owner, I needed to know this to increase my own personal awareness in what it takes to run a successful business. The candidness of the presenters made it easy to see myself in their shoes and helped me to realize that I can also get there.
Want to feel motivated to take the next step for your business? Let Office Depot OfficeMax give you the confidence you need with a suite of business services & solutions to help you put your best foot forward. Make a good first impression with business cards & build the business pitch of your dreams with custom presentations. With Office Depot OfficeMax you'll find the tools to reach new customers with confidence.
Head to Office Depot's Selfmade page to check out even more amazing business resources (and discounts!) to help you accomplish more on your entrepreneurial journey. These offers are available for a limited time only, so be sure to take advantage of all this goodness while supplies last. Want to join the next Selfmade cohort this summer? Check out all of the scholarship details right here.