Go Ahead and Let Your Guard Down

   By drodriguez  Jun 16, 2009

The next time you feel like you are being too chatty or sharing unnecessary intimate details about your life amongst friends, you may want to think again.  A recent study, reported about in the New York Daily News, shows that women who form an emotional connection with others by exchanging gossip or personal stories release more of the hormone called progesterone.  Progesterone is known to reduce overall stress and anxiety, promote better sleep, and increase bone density. 

During the study researchers from the University of Michigan worked with 160 female students.  The students were instructed to split up into pairs.  Half of them were told to proofread a botany paper with their partner, while the other half were told to ask each other personal questions that would allow them to form a bond.

Stephanie Brown, University of Michigan internal medicine professor, explained that after about 20 minutes the women who were told to talk intimately were found to have increased progesterone levels, whereas the women who worked on the botany paper showed a decline in their progesterone levels.

Brown spoke about why the research was conducted, she said, “We know that people who are in close relationships live longer and are healthier than those who are socially isolated.  The mystery is how do these social connections work?  It might have to do with progesterone.”

But before you go looking for the magic progesterone pill that will make you stress free, Dr. Steven Park, clinical assistant professor of otolaryngology at New York Medical College, warns, “You need it in the right doses.  And it has to be in the right balance as estrogen in the body.”  The easier path to better progesterone levels may simply be by making it a point to connect with friends and family more often.  So go ahead, plan your next lady’s night out, it will be good for you.

What do you think of the study’s findings that women who spoke intimately increased their progesterone levels?

Do you think forming bonds with friends can lead to a healthier, longer life?


Make a Comment

lillylovers by lillylovers | huntington station, NY
Aug 28, 2009

i feel like this study is right on the point. you do need to from strong blonds with friends or family. It makes you feel happy to know that you have some one there you can fully trust.

hward17 by hward17 | MAHOPAC, NY
Jul 06, 2009

I think the study was seeking scientific evidence for "why" we feel happier when we have strong bonds with others. WHY & HOW does "trusting someone" make us feel happy?

emac79 by emac79 | Saint Louis, MO
Jun 24, 2009

I think this is a ridiculous question. Everyone knows that you need a support system of friends and family - for some people that may only be 1 or 2 people while others may have a network of 50 - but it has long been proven that a support system of people you trust is needed for a "happy" life. I agree with Jere2911 that we didn't need a study to prove that we would connect with people and be happier when talking about ourselves instead of reading a paper. DUH!

Jere2911 by Jere2911 | ANNA, TX
Jun 24, 2009

I think it's more than sharing the secrets, it's the relationship. It's just as much listening as sharing. It's having that connection with someone you COMPLETELY trust. It's letting go of that stress as well as being willing to let someone else relieve their stress to you. Proofreading botany papers isn't very personal unless you're a botanist and it's your point of stress. But did we really need a study to say that talking with our friends about things we want to talk about makes us feel better than talking about things we don't?

momabear by momabear | Elkhart, TX
Jun 22, 2009

Be careful who you tell secerts to, I have found out in my long life PEOPLE TALK.

Poonam by Poonam | KNG OF PRUSSA, PA
Jun 16, 2009

Bonding, socializing, talking with people with your friends and family definitely helps you .. you relieve your stress by speaking out .. it depends what kind of situation you are in and who do you want to discuss it with .. say love sex problems with your friends or if you are comfortable enough with your female family members mom sister ... but talking is like giving a vent to your feelings ... and when sometimes we are in stress and cant think straight another persons perspective can help us .. so go ahead and make some lifetime long lasting friends and bonds ..