Let’s have a heart to heart – have you considered how your relationships affect your health? Whether it’s with your significant other, friends, co-workers, or family members, your relationships play a vital role in your health, happiness, and even your lifespan.
Examining Your Relationships
You can’t expect your relationships to be perfect, we are all works in progress, but there are signs that your relationships are healthy and positive. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services gives guidelines that can help you examine your relationships.
What does a healthy relationship look like?
- Both people feel respected, supported, and valued. Both people make decisions together
- Both people have friends and interests outside of the relationship
- Both people settle disagreements with open and honest communication
- Both people respect each other’s privacy and space
What makes a relationship unhealthy?
- One or both people try to change the other
- One person makes most or all of the decisions
- One or both people drop friends and interests outside of the relationship
- One or both people yell, threaten, hit, or throw things during arguments
- One or both people make fun of the other’s opinions or interests
- One or both people keep track of the other all the time by calling, texting, or checking in with friends
Harvard University began a study 8 decades ago into adult development that still is following participants today. They recognized that socializing, loneliness, relationship quality, and good relationships affect happiness leading towards good health and longevity… or not. Having a meaningful relationship is important for better emotional, physical, and mental health. Many relationships are superficial, but when you are truly connecting with another, the health benefits are huge.
And remember, it’s never too late to improve your relationships or create new ones. Have you lost touch with someone important to you? Reach out to to that person you love, but that you haven’t connected with for days, months, or even years. The relationships you build and strengthen can directly impact your health, happiness, and enjoyment of life.
Exercise is Good for Your Relationships
Looking for a way to make your healthy relationships even stronger? For many, a great way to stay together is to sweat together. Exercising together not only improves your physical fitness, but benefits your relationship by strengthening the bonds that increase happiness. Here are some things that can improve with exercise in a relationship, according to Psychology Today:
- Increase your happiness with your relationship.
- Improve the efficiency of your workouts.
- Make your partner fall in love with you.
- Help you achieve your fitness goals.
- Increase your emotional bond.
So grab your friend or loved one and get stronger, together.