Regular girlie chats reduce anxiety and stress, scientists discover
Researchers at the University of Michegan have discovered that women who enjoy a regular gossip with female friends are happier and more relaxed. This is due to increased levels of progesterone, a hormone that reduces anxiety and stress.
The scientists put 160 female students in pairs and gave half questions to ask each other designed to bring them closer together, such as: ‘Given the choice of anyone in the world, who would you want as a dinner guest?’. The other half was asked to proof-read an academic paper on botany.
After twenty minutes, the students who got to know each other through asking each other chatty questions saw progesterone levels either stay the same or increase, whereas in the other group progesterone levels actually dropped.
“It’s important to find the links between biological mechanisms and human social behaviour,” Professor Stephanie Brown, who led the research told the Telegraph. “These links help us understand why people in close relationships are happier, healthier and live longer than those who are socially isolated.”