According to a recent USA Today article, “girlfriends are key to women’s optimism.” The study found that women tend to be happier than men of the same age because they have a strong social network:
The most optimistic women spend about six hours a day in social interaction. Some of that time may be with a friend at work, with family, a husband or children, or with a partner, a love interest or neighbors. But girlfriends are the bedrock. The most optimistic women have an inner circle of anywhere from four to a dozen friends who “have their back” and will drop everything to help in a crisis.
Having hundreds of “friends” on Facebook and contacts on LinkedIn is great for business and self-promotion. But coming home from a conference with a fistful of business cards is not emotionally fulfilling. “Contacts” won’t be there for you when you have a blowup with your boss and fear for your job. If you have no ready social outlet, you’ll likely start to sleep poorly and feel your energy drain. The best way to recover optimism is to walk and talk with a girlfriend or a group.