As women, we are always chatting it up with our best friends, talking about life, the world and the latest fashions. From a mans perspective this could be potentially annoying and seem to be way out of hand. Little did we know that all our ranting and raving on a daily basis is actually beneficial for our health!
Research shows gossiping boosts levels of progesterone, a hormone which reduces anxiety and stress.
It also plays an important part in social bonding, making women happier.
Researchers at the University of Michigan put 160 female students in pairs, and half were given questions to ask each other designed to bring them closer together.
These included ‘Given the choice of anyone in the world, who would you want as a dinner guest?’ and ‘What has been your greatest accomplishment?’
The remaining pairs were asked to proof-read a research paper on botany.
After 20 minutes, the students who got to know each other through ‘chatty’ questions saw progesterone levels stay the same or increase.
But in the other group, progesterone declined.
Professor Stephanie Brown, who led the research, which was published in the journal Hormones and Behaviour, said: ‘Many of the hormones involved in bonding and helping behaviour lead to reductions in stress and anxiety.
‘Higher levels of progesterone may be part of the underlying basis of these effects.
She added: ‘It’s important to find the links between biological mechanisms and human social behaviour.
‘These links help us understand why people in close relationships are happier, healthier and live longer than those who are socially isolated.’
Progesterone is produced in the ovaries, and prepares the womb for pregnancy, fights infection and stops the over-production of oestrogen that could raise the risk of cancer (source).
Ok, so not only does your daily dose of gossip make you happier, it also seems to ward off diseases like cancer! I guess I am going to have to make more of an effort to stay in touch with my close friends and bond more often!
(CES, PES, CPT, BS)