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Improve Your Life with Healthy Social Relationships
Most people already know that it feels good down to the core to have close friends and family that you share a strong bond with. While it can be comforting and often exhilarating to be around great friends and family, a lot of people don’t realize the importance these bonds can play on your physical and mental health.
From the beginning of time humans have been social and interactive creatures. We commonly feel a need to create bonds with other humans, flourishing when we do. If you are feeling depressed or even lonely, finding a companion may be your answer.
Scientific and social studies have proven that overall physical and mental health is greater in people that are a part of a social group or close-knit family. One study stated that healthy personal relationships with others can have effects on a person’s health that can be compared to quitting drinking or smoking, which can also affect a person’s mortality.
If you find yourself with a lot of friends, family, and acquaintances that make your life fulfilled and happy, consider yourself lucky, because they are attributing to your physical well-being.
How Relationships Benefit Your Health
There are various types of relationships a person can have. Your relationships can come from a lot of different sources such as church groups, relatives, a spouse, friends, co-workers. You have a bond with each of these people that varies from the other, but they are all important.
Scientists have found a steady link between health and social relationships. These relationships can influence us in a lot of different ways including physically, mentally, and behaviorally.
Behavioral tendencies affect us in different ways that can affect our mortality and our general health. Certain types of behavioral traits that can play a part include the diets we eat, exercise routines, drug abuse, smoking, and drinking alcohol. All of these behaviors can be influenced by the social relationships we have. If you surround yourself by people that don’t smoke or drink, and exercise regularly, you are more likely to also live that type of lifestyle. People have been known to completely change their current lifestyles to better model the lifestyles of the people around them. If you have a close friend that regularly runs each morning at dawn, that friend will likely invite you to run, thus influencing your health and behavior.
Social relationships have a way of controlling and bending our behaviors a certain way. Social relationships such as having children, being married, and being affiliated with religious organizations have proven to have an affect on a person’s overall behavioral health choices. When you have certain relationships you tend to feel a sense of responsibility to please the people in those relationships as well as aspire to live more like they do, thus leading to behavioral changes. Oftentimes these behavioral changes are beneficial to your health.
Having social relationships also benefit us physically. This ties in with the behavioral changes, but goes a little deeper. People that have tenacious social relationships are able to reduce the stress in their life significantly. Stress can be reduced in a number of ways such as by venting to a supportive spouse, unloading on a best friend, sharing an experience that causes stress with a co-worker, or even just enjoying the company of those relationships. Reducing stress is one of the number one ways to improve your overall health.
Scientific studies have shown that people with an abundance of social relationships are less likely to develop heart disease, autoimmune disorders, cardiovascular conditions, and obesity. People who live with little or none of these relationships are more likely to suffer from health conditions as well as to die earlier.
These relationships can also greatly impact your mental health in a positive way. If you feel like you are loved and cared for, you will experience better mental health. This is largely thanks to the reduction of stress that comes with having close relationships. You also get a feeling of having a purpose in life, having a reason to live, and having a responsibility to the people in your life to live the best way you can and to be the best person you can be.
A parent may feel a greater sense of urgency through the relationship they have with their children to have a more positive outlook on life, thus leading to better mental health.
How Social Relationships Are Detrimental to Health
While social relationships are a leading force in health, they can also have a negative effect. The wrong types of relationships can do serious harm to your health. You should be able to recognize these types of relationships and excrete them from your life.
Relationships that bring tremendous strain or stress can be harmful to your health. Sometimes you can’t get rid of these types of relationships. In that case, you should have other relationships that are able to support you through what you are going through. An example would be caring for a sick elderly parent or having to stay at a stressful job to support your family.
Relationships that are mentally, emotionally, and physically abusive should not be tolerated. Reach out to others in your social relationship circle for support and guidance.
If you have social relationships with people that tend to take risks and live life on the edge, it could have negative effects on your health. Being involved with people that take risks with their health by smoking, drinking, taking drugs, or even driving recklessly could seriously harm your well-being.
Take a good look at the social relationships you have and determine which ones are best for you. You should be involved in relationships that are supportive and that get you to indulge in positive actions that can help you overall.
There are always risks with any social relationship. People that have relationships giving them unyielding guidance and support tend to live longer, happier lives.