Relationships Can Be Good for Your Health
We’re not talking about those toxic friendships or the co-worker who makes you crazy. Those people can cramp your style and make you crazy. Nor are we talking about Facebook friends and other digital relationships. We mean real, flesh and blood humans who are part of your life. Being around people can actually be good for you, and cultivating relationships with friends, co-workers and family members can be one of the healthiest things you do.
A 2010 study published in LiveScience stated that more than quitting smoking or taking up exercise, friendships could help you live longer and maintain a higher quality of life. And those friendships extend to the people you work with, play with, and interact with on a regular basis.
How Relationships Keep You Healthy
Friendships can contribute to a sense of purpose and belonging in our lives. This can improve mood and give you a sense of well-being. Furthermore, friends can help you manage stress and trauma in your life by being a resource for support and information. Even work relationships can keep you healthy by creating a sense of community and shared goals.
Studies out of the Mayo Clinic have shown that adults who have a solid social network of friends and relationships have reduced risk of medical and health related problems such as high blood pressure, obesity and depression.
Quality Over Quantity
As with many things, quality is more important than quantity. Having a few people you can really count on is better than having a lot of people who don’t follow through. If you feel like your friendships have waned over the years as your life got busy, don’t think that you can’t make new friendships.
Meeting people through shared activities or shared responsibilities can lead to rich, dynamic relationships. Volunteer activities, faith based events at a church or synagogue, or walking the dog at a local park, are all easy ways to get out and interact with people.
Don’t mistake your online friends for your real ones. While social media can open up a world of possibility, real human interactions are important to your mental and physical health. Make an effort to meet for coffee or share an activity with someone. You may find new things to do and new ways to do them. And don’t forget, if friends are good for your health, your friendship with someone is good for their health too!
Posted In: Wellness