In the spirit of February, understanding the importance of relationships and the affects they have on your health is important. Healthy relationships can improve your overall well-being while unhealthy relationships are a breading ground for poor health. Research shows that even weight gain can be a symptom of dissatisfaction in your relationship. This happens when relationship stressors lead to poor sleeping habits and passive-aggressive eating behaviors. Of course not all weight gain is to be blamed on a bad relationship, but it could be worth investigating.
Other areas that can also be affected include your immune system, your mental health, and even your mortality. You have probably heard that stress can weaken your immune system. It is true and your immune system doesn’t differentiate between relationships stress, work stress, or other areas of negativity- it all wreaks havoc. Relationship stress can also cause anxiety and even depression.
The good news is healthy relationships can greatly improve your quality of life. As a matter of fact, research shows that people who engage in healthy relationships have healthier behaviors, which lead to longer lives. People who connect socially with others tend to have healthier behaviors such as exercise and healthy eating that more commonly become his or her norm. Social support, gives people a sense that they are loved, cared for, and listened to. Study after study concludes that this social support both directly and indirectly improve a person’s health by reducing stress, nurturing a sense of purpose, and even lowering one’s blood pressure.
So, as we celebrate this month of love, check in with your relationships and discover where the love is. Give freely of it and open your heart to positive relationships and watch your health improve!