Most of the time, I’ve found that staying in with friends on a Friday night is way better than going out. Take last night for an example. I had a girls night at my apartment, and I don’t think I’ve laughed so hard in a very long time. I’ll take some good company and a bottle of wine over annoying music and strangers any day!
Usually, if all of us are in town a group of my girlfriends always get together on Friday nights to catch up and usually have a good laugh. We usually go to this restaurant in West Hollywood called Toca Madera, but we’ve stopped because it’s always so crowded and you can never find a seat. Although, their drinks are excellent and that’s why we went back for so long. Now, we just take turns hosting a dinner party at each of our homes and it is way better!
Last night, it was at my house and so I did the cooking, one girl brought the drinks and one brought the sweets. That way the host isn’t super overwhelmed and can still enjoy herself. I decided to make tacos amd finger snacks and a berry cake, one of my girlfriends brought the wine and sangria and the other made a tasty flan. An hour and a half in, we were all very full, a little tipsy and full of laughter mainly do to playing Cards Against Humanity (if you’ve never played before, you’ll be hooked!!). What more can you ask for from a girls night?
I’m so lucky to have the friends that I do but it did take me years to cultivate them. All my girlfriends know the importance of keeping friendships when you are in a relationship and we never go more then a couple weeks without meeting up. I’ve had friends in the past that get into relationships and let all their friendships fall by the wayside and when there’s trouble in paradise they feel more alone and uncomfortable reaching out to their old friends. That’s more often the case than not so I don’t really get upset but it’s a pattern I often see. So I made a conscious effort to make my friends a priority. Especially my close girlfriends.
Its great to get away from your significant other and shoot the shit with your friends, talk about whatever, vent about your problems, and just have a good laugh. I feel so much lighter when I’ve had a good laugh, like whatever stress I might have had has melted off for an hour or two.
According to the Mayo Clinic there are actually scientifically proven benefits of laughter:
A good laugh has great short-term effects. When you start to laugh, it doesn’t just lighten your load mentally, it actually induces physical changes in your body. Laughter can:
Stimulate many organs. Laughter enhances your intake of oxygen-rich air, stimulates your heart, lungs and muscles, and increases the endorphins that are released by your brain.
Activate and relieve your stress response. A rollicking laugh fires up and then cools down your stress response and increases your heart rate and blood pressure. The result? A good, relaxed feeling.
Soothe tension. Laughter can also stimulate circulation and aid muscle relaxation, both of which help reduce some of the physical symptoms of stress.
Laughter isn’t just a quick pick-me-up, though. It’s also good for you over the long haul. Laughter may:
Improve your immune system. Negative thoughts manifest into chemical reactions that can affect your body by bringing more stress into your system and decreasing your immunity. In contrast, positive thoughts actually release neuropeptides that help fight stress and potentially more-serious illnesses.
Relieve pain. Laughter may ease pain by causing the body to produce its own natural painkillers. Laughter may also break the pain-spasm cycle common to some muscle disorders.
Increase personal satisfaction. Laughter can also make it easier to cope with difficult situations. It also helps you connect with other people.
Improve your mood. Many people experience depression, sometimes due to chronic illnesses. Laughter can help lessen your depression and anxiety and make you feel happier.
So next time you have a though week, think about having a night in with your friends. If cooking isn’t your strong point then have everyone bring something or order take out. It’s more the company your surrounded with the things your doing.
Enjoy the rest of your weekend guys!