The Benefits of Creating Strong Relationships from The Benefits of Creating Strong Relationships

The Benefits of Creating Strong Relationships

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The Benefits of Creating Strong Relationships

Social engagement and meaningful relationships are associated with living a longer life and improving your overall health. Building strong relationships has been shown help your psychological, social, and physical well-being.

*Related: 12 Lifestyle Changes to Become Your Healthiest Self

In order to create strong relationships, you need to eliminate the toxic ones. This means removing the people in your life who bring you down. It’s important to have a positive mindset; as the Law of Attraction says, “We are responsible for bringing both positive and negative influences into our lives.”

Surround yourself with positive people; know when it’s time to eliminate bad relationships and create space for healthy ones.

 

--Nicole Dos Santos, Editor

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Live Longer

Having a spouse or loved one close by when health issues arise means that the other person will be there to notice and, therefore, insist you address those issues with urgency and diligence until resolved, says Dia Hicks, relationship expert and founder/CEO of SwaggerScan. Research from Harvard Health Publications concluded that having a network of important relationships can make a difference. In a study of people ages 75 and older, the risk for dementia was lowest in those individuals who had a variety of satisfying relationships with friends and relatives.

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Positive Influence

Having a friend or significant other who is passionate about health and fitness can have a positive influence on you, Hicks says. They will encourage you to make healthy decisions, such as getting your annual checkup, hitting the gym frequently, and giving up smoking, he adds.

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Someone to Confide in

“Having someone to confide in means you have a person there to reveal your most personal questions and concerns buried deep inside,” Hicks says. “Work-related issues and discrepancies may sometimes be too sophisticated in nature to bring before a close relative and a calmer, more rational partner may provide for a better strategy than advice.”

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They Accept Us for Who We Are

One of the first steps to creating a strong relationship is allowing your friend or partner see you for who you really are. Only once you prove to be trustworthy will you find acceptance. “Your partner's attraction to the person you really are will only accentuate your personality and may also help with work and career,” Hicks says.

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You Have Someone to Celebrate With

Birthdays, holidays, and special occasions – no one wants to celebrate them alone. “I'm not sure which is worse - having nothing to celebrate or having no one to celebrate with,” Hicks says. “While being single can be quite liberating, holidays are best when spent with that special someone.” It’s always uplifting to be around supportive friends when celebrating achievements.

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Reduced Stress

Stress has been related to various illnesses; it’s important to reduce stress by minimizing the amount we take on, Hicks explains. “Strong relationships have been known to alleviate stress.” Research by Cleveland Clinic Wellness found “that when women gather with other women (and with children), they release more oxytocin, the mother-love hormone associated with breast-feeding, which has a marked calming effect.”

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Healthier Immune System

When you’re in a strong relationship, you trust that person with the good and the bad. Sometimes we need that person to tell us everything will be OK and give us a shoulder to cry on. Research from Carnegie Mellon University found that greater social support and frequent hugs protected people from increased susceptibility to infection associated with stress and resulted in less severe illness symptoms. Hicks also explains that “a healthy immune system is closely related to being involved in a strong committed relationship because it usually means that two people are paying attention to each other’s' health and well-being.”

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Married Women Have Healthier Hearts

“Emotions influence physical health, particularly in the heart and, following a cardiac event, those that are married fare better than their single counterparts,” Hicks explains. “Women in great relationships naturally develop healthier habits to maintain or enhance the relationship. Things like healthy eating habits combined with a supportive spouse can strengthen arteries lowering the chance of heart disease.”

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Married People Have Better Physical Health

A survey of 127,545 people by the National Center for Health Statistics found that married people reported better overall health, fewer headaches, less lower back pain, and less stress than single individuals. “They also were less likely to drink and smoke, and were more physically active,” the survey explains. Hicks says that, for men specifically, “simply living with someone else decreases the odds of eating peanut butter sandwiches and leftover pizza for breakfast, lunch, and dinner which I'm sure will enhance the quality of the human-male physique.” He adds that “married-life food menu alone should add a few extra years to a man's life.”

The Benefits of Creating Strong Relationships