장수하고 싶으면 친구와 여행을 떠나라..."지금 당장!" You Should Take a Girls' Trip, Because Science Says So

You Should Take a Girls' Trip, Because Science Says So

 Author picture of Katharine Stahl

3 June, 2019


Thinking about planning a girls' trip with your best friends? According to science, you should book that flight ASAP! Research supports that taking a trip with your friends can actually improve your mental health and long-term happiness, and as parents, we know that maintaining mental soundness is more important, and more challenging, than ever. So ladies, gather your best buds, line up childcare, pack your bags, and get away — for your sanity's sake.



장수하고 싶으면 친구와 여행을 떠나라..."지금 당장!"

도쿄 대, 오사카 대 연구팀

친구들과 놀면 옥시토신 분비 늘어

고독하면 일찍 죽을 수 있어

    슬슬 휴가 계획을 짤 시점이다. 오랜만에 친구와 여행을 가는 것은 어떨까? 

혹여 가족들이 원망의 눈길을 보낸다면, 건강을 위해서라고 대답하라. ‘헬스닷컴’에 따르면, 이는 변명이 아니라 과학이다.

2016년 일본의 도쿄 대학교, 오사카 대학교 연구자들은 친구들과 놀면 옥시토신 분비가 늘어난다는 사실을 발견했다. 옥시토신은 행복할 때 나오는 호르몬으로 사람들을 관대하고, 친절하고, 안정감 있게 만든다.

미국의 하버드 대학교 연구진은 거꾸로 출발해서 같은 결론에 도달했다. 친한 친구가 없는 이들은 우울하기 쉽고, 나이 들어 인지 기능이 감퇴할 확률도 높으며, 상대적으로 일찍 죽는 경향이 있다는 것.

30만여 명을 대상으로 한 브리검영 대학교의 연구에서는 고독한 사람들의 경우, 때 이른 죽음을 맞게 될 위험이 50%나 크다는 사실이 드러났다. 이는 하루에 담배 15개비를 피우는 흡연자와 마찬가지 확률이다.

친구와의 교유는 삶에 커다란 영향을 미친다. 기분을 좋게 만들고, 충일감을 줄뿐더러 심장 질환은 예방하고, 기대 수명은 늘리는 것. 문제는 나이 먹을수록 우정을 만들고, 가꾸는 것이 점점 어려워진다는 사실이다.

직장에 다니고, 결혼을 하고, 아이를 키우게 되면 친구를 위해 쓸 시간은 내기 힘들다. 그리고 일 년에 한 번, 망년회에서 얼굴을 보고 가끔 페이스북에 ‘좋아요’를 누르는 정도로는 진짜 우정을 다질 수 없다.

미시건 주립 대학교에서 심리학을 가르치는 윌리엄 초픽 교수는 “길게 보라”고 충고한다. 나이든 후를 생각한다면, 노년에는 어떤 관계보다, 심지어 가족보다 친구들이 건강과 행복에 영향을 미친다는 것.

그는 “친구들과 여행을 떠나고, 그들을 위해 시간을 쓰라”면서 “우정이야말로 투자할 가치가 있는 대상”이라고 덧붙였다.

이용재 기자 youngchaeyi@kormedi.com 코메디닷컴

edited by kcontents

You already know that hanging out with your friends feels great, but now there's science that explains why. In 2016, researchers found evidence that hanging out with friends, which they call "peaceful associations," increases the production of oxytocin, the hormone that floods our bodies when we're happy. (It also plays a role in the birthing process, baby bonding, and milk production, so mums can use all of that magical little hormone that they can get.) Oxytocin is released during positive social bonding experiences (hello, girls' trip) and can make people more trusting, generous, and friendly.

Need even more proof of the significance of your girls' getaway? Research conducted at Michigan State University in 2017 reinforced the importance of maintaining long-term friendships. In a pair of studies involving almost 280,000 people, researcher William Chopik found that friendships become an even more important predictor of happiness and health as we get older, even outpacing the importance of relationships with family members. The research concluded that friendships predict both day-to-day happiness and how long we'll live more than both spousal and family relationships.

We'd planned it for more than a year in advance, and expectations, and our needs to escape from real life for a few days, were high.

I recently put all of this research to the test by jetting off with 15 of my friends from college to jointly celebrate our 40th birthdays. Some of the women I've remained super close to in the 18 years since graduation, as we've moved to different states, gotten married, and become parents, multiple times over. Others are those I mostly keep up with on social media and the occasional email, but all of them I have super "peaceful associations" (aka no drama) with.


edited by kcontents

Because we're 40 years old, flush with responsibility, collectively parents to more than 30 children between the ages of 10 months and 10 years old, and live in nine different states, this trip wasn't the spontaneous getaway of our youth. We'd planned it for more than a year in advance, and expectations, and our needs to escape from real life for a few days, were high.

We spent a weekend on the beach, retelling hilarious stories from college and beyond, catching up on our current lives, and drinking just a little too much wine. All that laughing, talking, and alcohol consumption meant that half of us lost our voices by the end of the trip, but all of us declared it completely worth it . . . even though our scratchy speech freaked out more than one of our kids. The weekend was the oxytocin hit I didn't know I needed so badly. We all left happier than when we were when we arrived, and we all agreed we needed to start planning the next trip as soon as we got our voices back.

So here's the takeaway: plan that trip with your friends now, even if you can't actually get away until 12 months from now. All the better if you plan it with women you really love and trust, who feel the same way about you; women with whom you have history with, or as science might say, long-term peaceful and positive associations. And when your spouse questions why you're taking time away from the family or spending money on a pricey flight, tell him that science told you to do it and that you'll be a happier partner, parent, and person because of it.

Read more at https://www.popsugar.com.au/smart-living/Girls-Trip-Good-Your-Mental-Health-46140455#v7lJMKyoyrYBUOBL.99