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The Girlfriend's Guide to Health will be updated every Tuesday.... Stay tuned dear readers and let me rock your world.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Smile with Style

Oh my girlfriends I do believe sisterhood is alive and well…. And not just in the cyberworld. For just last week on a flight back from Toronto to Vanlover I experience the power of the Swarovski ties that bind.

There I was on the airplane, dressed of course in my flying best with the perfect accessory- my sunny demeanor and my Alan Anderson necklace.

Side bar, my girlfriends…. this accessory really IS all that and a bag of fabulous. A bib of vintage Swarovski crystals in candy coloured hues that really does complete me. Yes I am a shallow cow but I bought the piece at a trunk show in celebration for finishing my first draft of my book. (insert judgement here).

Incidentally I have been using that excuse- the finishing of my first draft of my book for a variety of purchases lately. Once the book does hit shelves in December/January (stay tuned my girlfriends…) I will need to find another reason to pad my wardrobe.

Back to my plane ride. There I was a lowly traveler boarding the flight when one of the lovely (yes she was) flight attendants stopped me to admire my Necklace.

“Oh that is fabulous” she gushed. She was really sweet and of course her taste was impeccable.
“Thank you”, I smiled.
“Where did you get that?” She asked.
I went on to explain to her that Alan Anderson was a Toronto based jeweler who has  a talent for all things girlie that is beyond amazing.

“It’s fabulous, just fabulous” she mused.
And then I did something that of course would be considered a bit odd and a bit unconventional- but hey my girlfriends I do gotta be me….. I took off the necklace and asked Lisa, the lovely flight attendant if she would like to try it on.

Lisa obliged and like a giddy school girl put on my Alan Anderson Necklace and proceeded to head for the nearest Lavatory (equipped with smoke detectors for your safety) to get a glimpse of her new perfect pimped out self.

Now say what you must about Air Canada, my girlfriends- we all have our faults- I know there is a little more apathy at 35000 feet these days. But on that one occasion in this moment with flight attendant and necklace, I do believe I broke the sound barrier of sorts. For there we were just a couple of girls playing dress up in a Boeing 747 and  for but a moment, this moment- this tin can really was a flight of fancy.

It’s not always how it goes these days, my sister. Lately we have such busy lives with so much to do that we forget the small intimacies of the human connection.

Sure it was a bit nutty to have a perfect stranger parade around a plane wearing my fabulous family jewels – but I do believe it made her day. And if ever I doubted it, when she handed me back the necklace a few moments later she confirmed this very fact.

“Thanks so much,” smiled Lisa, “you made my day”.

It was this little unconventional act of kindness that really did take flight that day my girlfriends and I do believe there will be many more to come in the future.

Lisa and I shared a moment there- while boarding flight 223 for Vancouver and I must say, I spent the next 5 hours feeling a glow of goodness.

I could not help but wonder what said random acts of kindness really do for the spirit?

According to the world renowned Behavioural Psychologist, Dr. Shaun Achor, random acts of kindness really do have an effect on our overall well being. Studies out of Achor’s Harvard lab show that such events increase the dopamine receptors in the brain.

Dopamine, my sisters- is the neurological equivalent of the little black dress- you can not function well without and it is the key to overall well being. In science speak- Dopamine is a neurotransmitter that affects memory, cognition and happiness.

According to a study published in the Journal of Aging Health in April, 2012 there is something to be said for interpersonal interactions impacting a woman’s overall well-being.

The study looked at various aspects of social supports in men and women and their impact on depressive symptoms. The study sample was 6,767 middle aged men and women. The researchers subjected all study members to a series of questionnaires regarding their mental well being.

The study showed that women in particular who received emotional support from “non-kin” (non-family) members had the lowest rates of depressive symptoms. The same could not be said in men, interestingly enough.

This “non-kin” emotional support was found to be most effective when it was given in both brief encounters and through long term relationships. In other words. Women who received emotional support from acquaintances as well as long term friends had lower rates of depressive symptoms. Emotional support in this study was defined as personal interactions, conversations as well as in depth emotional connections.

Did my new found sisters on the plane help me in my pursuit of happiness? According to this study… hell yeah.

I’m not so sure these brief interactions ward off the blues but I do suspect that people who interact in the world around them and make daily connections with many other individuals do in fact feel better in this world. Although this study is not the perfect proof of this- I suspect it’s a great place to start….

There you have it my girlfriends- one woman’s necklace is another one’s smile. And thus another week begins and ends with confirmation of the eternal saying,

“Good Style opens all doors”

Go forth my sisters and spread the joy – this world can always use another good accessory. 

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