Are Your Relationships Hindering Your Health?

June 1, 2020

We all need to relate to relationships in order to survive. A relationship is the foundation of growth, productivity and advancement. In the absence of relationships, we begin to die.

According to Harvard research, good connections can improve health and increase longevity.

One study, which examined data from more than 309,000 people, found that lack of strong relationships increased the risk of premature death from all causes by 50% — an effect on mortality risk roughly comparable to smoking up to 15 cigarettes a day and greater than obesity and physical inactivity. People who have satisfying relationships with family, friends and their community are happier, have fewer health problems and live longer.

A large Swedish study of people ages 75 and over concluded that dementia risk was lowest in those with a variety of satisfying contacts with friends and relatives.

If your relationship is causing stress, anger, anxiety or depression, maybe you need to re-examine your association to your benefit. Having healthy relationships is a necessity for our emotional and physical well-being. Research has shown that having good relationships can help us to live healthier lives e.g. having someone to share your problems with can ease the stress, prevent coronary arteries, gut function, insulin regulation and strengthen the immune system. Having at least 3 friends that you trust is well recommended. The quality of our relationships affects the quality of our lives. For example, one study found that midlife women who were in highly satisfying marriages and marital-type relationships had a lower risk for cardiovascular disease compared with those in less satisfying marriages. Other studies have linked disappointing or negative interactions with family and friends with poorer health. One intriguing line of research has found signs of reduced immunity in couples during especially hostile marital spats.

It is easy to feel isolated when problems come along and you feel like you are all alone, but this is the time when you need a friend, a mom, husband, dad, sister, or brother to rely on. These hard times are when being isolated is not a good idea. It’s also good to remember that everything is just for a season, nothing last forever including your problems.

You perhaps are asking what to look for in a friend, or any other relationship? Sometimes this can be hard to find.

Well, some of the good qualities are: respect (someone that respect themselves will be most likely to respect others and you) and responsibility (if you want someone to share your personal information with, you must make sure they have this quality).

Start by being a good friend by lending a listening ear, always telling the truth, not taking everything personally and not making assumptions. Don Miguel Ruiz in his book the four Agreements said, “Nothing that others say and do is because of you” so don’t sweat it.

If you are in a relationship and you are not always in control of yourself, probably it is not a good one. You don’t have to let others control what you do, what you believe or how you feel.

Build the courage to LET GO of any relationship that is not benefiting you in any way!

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