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Relationships and Health

By Winsome Coutts

Relationships are among the determinants of health. This probably comes as no surprise to you – have you ever felt absolutely awful when your relationship is struggling? Good relationship and mental health go hand in hand, so too with physical health. You can actually have physical affects from good – or bad – relationships.

Can Your Relationships Determine the Quality of Your Health?

In life, there are many things we can do to take care of our health, both physical and emotional. We exercise and eat properly. We see our doctor for regular check ups. We may visit a coach, counselor or psychologist to work on mental, emotional or life challenges. These practices can all lead to a long and healthy life. Did you know that your relationships could be a factor in your health as well? Your relationships are among some of your most important determinants of health, in fact. This may not be news to you, but if it is, please join me in looking at how relationships factor into health and well being, and how to cultivate and keep healthy relationships.

How do relationships play a part in health and well being? For one thing, good relationships with a partner, family members and friends serve as an important buffer against the stress of every day life, and also stress that comes on suddenly, such as when a loss occurs. Knowing that there are people nearby (or even far-away) that sincerely care about you can lower your stress levels appreciably. As we know, stress can adversely affect your health in many ways – it can aggravate existing conditions, it can cause pain, it has been linked to the development of cardio-vascular disease and problems of the skin, reproductive organs and the immune system. That’s just naming a few. Chronic or acute stress can also cause feelings of isolation. Having healthy and supportive relationships will ease these problems and help to offset the negative impact of stress.

Now more than ever - Great Expectations

The relationships that you share with friends and family work to keep you healthy in another way – you are given a reason to “be” when you have people to care for and that care for you. This sense of belonging is hard-wired into the human psyche. Even for those who are less outgoing, the love of a partner, family or friends adds a dimension to life that connects us to everything else. This is extremely important. You are more apt to take better care of yourself if you feel someone values you.

So what about your relationships? Hopefully you are blessed with people around you who are loving and supportive and whom you can be loving and supportive to. If this is true, then you have relationships that are good for your health. If, on the other hand, you feel that your relationships are lacking, there are things you can do to remedy the situation, and indeed you should take steps. If you are in relationships that are not good for your health (any type of abuse or neglect), you would do well to seek help in removing yourself from those relationships. Yes, that’s tough advice to take, but please consider getting help to learn to take better care of yourself and to find good, healthy relationships. If you simply would like to cultivate more happy, healthy relationships, there are multitudes of ways to do that. Join groups and clubs that interest you. Join a religious or spiritual community. Look up old friends and rekindle those relationships. Spend extra time with your family and let them know just how much you care about them.

Healthy relationships will lead to a healthier you. Both your body and your mind will grow healthier and your outlook on life will be better when you have relationships in which you feel valued and you are able to show others that you value them, too. This is an integral part of being human, and one of the best parts of being human – sharing love, experiences, wisdom and even tears. Some of us have a large family and circle of friends, and some have a smaller group – it doesn’t matter as long as we have some healthy, happy relationships in our lives.

1000 questions for couples

1000 questions for couples - ebook
One of the biggest reason marriages end in divorce is because couples fail to ask the big questions before they walk down the aisle.

If couples simply spent some time asking each other the questions that really matter, they'd greatly increase their chances of staying together.
The great thing about a "question book" is that it makes it easier to ask those difficult questions and encourages an environment to address them.
But is Michael Webb's "1000 Questions For Couples" the right book for this?
Find out more

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Winsome Coutts is the passion behind the new self help authority site, www.4lifeselfhelp.com. She is a lifelong student of personal development, meditation and goal setting. In the pursuit of her own dreams, she has created www.4lifeselfhelp.com as a tool to help others find success and happiness along with resources to live an abundant life.

Visit www.4lifeselfhelp.com today to take advantage of their resource library, free articles, resource tools and guidance.

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