Relationships -Love ’em or Leave ’em?
Are you a loner? Does down time recharge you? Or, do you get your energy from people? Do you like being with others all of the time and when alone find yourself getting lonely and depressed? We are all uniquely different and have different social needs. However, it is ‘crystal’ clear (can you hear Jack Nicholson in A Few Good Men) that we all need to have supportive relationships (2 or 20) for our well being.
There are serious health risks with solidarity that can be compared to the effects of smoking, high blood pressure or obesity. As well, a low social support system can lead to higher depression rates, a decrease in immune function and higher blood pressure.
There are health benefits to having healthy relationships:
1. Live longer (approximately 3 years) – men, especially benefit from a life partner/marriage.
2. Better able to deal with stress- the ability to ‘vent’ and have someone listen and empathize leads to faster recovery during stressful situations. You can’t just talk to yourself all the time 🙂
3. Healthier- people are actually half as likely to catch a cold when they have good social support.
4. Feel wealthier- doubling your group of friends is mentally, like a 50% increase in your income.
So reach out to others! When was the last time you wrote, phoned or texted your old college roommate or best friend from high school? That person who was your partner doing plank stacks this week, what do they do for fun? Take a time out and make plans to visit with an old friend or make a new friend! It requires a little effort but in the end we are simply happier people when we give and receive the love and support from relationships!