When it comes to relationships, we never really think about how they benefit us in the long run. Sometimes we take our relationships (whether it’s a partner, a family member, a lifelong friend or even a new relationship) for granted. We don’t really sit back and evaluate how things have been going. But if we did, then we might be able to discover how our connections benefit us mentally, and physically.
It turns out that being in a healthy strong relationship can lower rates of anxiety and depression, as well as increase ones self-esteem, and trust (1)(2). When we surround ourselves with people that bring out the best in us we tend to shine a little brighter. We get those feel good vibes, and there is a reason for that. “A… line of research suggests that caring behaviors trigger the release of stress-reducing hormones.”(1). We build relationships to pursue love, joy, and connection, but we gain so much more. Let’s take a moment and think of a relationship in our lives…How do our interactions make us feel? Do we feel energized? Or strung-out? Content or worried? Our daily interactions do impact our lives. BetterHealthChannel states that “Strong, healthy relationships can also help to strengthen your immune system, help you recover from disease, and may even lengthen your life.” When we encounter many good moments with our loved ones it influences us to make better choices with our lives so we may live a bit longer
Our minds are constantly working, and if we don’t have that mental stimulation then our minds become sluggish. One study states that people who maintain strong relationships in their golden years have a lesser chance of cognitive impairment (2). We have discussions to bounce ideas back and forth so we may gain new perspectives, but have we ever noticed how all this bantering is good for us? It keeps our gears (mind) constantly moving. We aim to create healthy relationships to feel good feelers but sometimes we experience bad situations. There are negative people or experiences that can put a lot of stress on a person which can negatively influence their health. Stress can lead to headaches, insomnia, depression…and well much more. According to a study, people that maintain a negative connection tend to have a greater risk of developing heart disease (5). Yes, this is daunting but if we eliminate the stresses and aim for healthier connections our overall health will improve. One study found that married women who were in a satisfying relationship had a lower risk of developing heart disease compared to those in less satisfying marriages (1).
A healthy relationship should bring more joy than stress (6). When we seek out company, let’s turn to those who make us feel at ease, happy, and inspire because not only does it do wonders for our soul but for our mind and body as well.