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Five Ways Relationships Are Good for Your Health

Date: 10/01/20

older woman speaks with a little girl by laptop video chat

Strong relationships are an important part of everyday life and can actually impact your mood, stress level, and overall health. Whether you spend quality time with friends, family, coworkers, or a beloved pet, personal relationships are vital to your wellbeing and can help you live a longer and happier life. To help you take time to focus on the important relationships in your life we have put together five ways relationships can boost your physical and mental wellness.

Soften Stress. Trusted friends or family can offer the support that you need during life’s difficult moments and reduce pent-up anxiety or pressure. Plus, having people who you can count on for help or share successes with, is important for social wellbeing. Committed personal relationships have also been shown to reduce production of the stress hormone cortisol and lower the impact of stress when it does arise.

Have Health. Surrounding yourself with people who have the same healthy habits that you do, can go a long way in helping you keep up your active lifestyle. Supportive friends can also make it easier to adopt and stick with healthy behaviors, such as a balanced diet or regular exercise. In addition to healthy lifestyle choices, the care and support of loved ones and the associated lower levels of cortisol, have been tied to improved recovery time when healing from illness or surgery.

Mend Mood. Have you ever had a bad mood evaporate after spending quality time with a close friend or animal companion? Relationships can help boost your mood and increase oxytocin levels, a hormone linked to social bonds and happiness. Make time to foster relationships and spend time with those you care about; it can help lift your disposition and theirs, too!

Hinder Hypertension. Safe and secure relationships can calm anxiety and help regulate blood pressure levels. In fact, several cardiovascular risk factors are decreased for people who have close personal relationships. This includes not only blood pressure, but also cholesterol, BMI, and heart attack risk.

Lengthen Life. Healthy social relationships can even add years onto your life, impacted by the aforementioned health benefits of reduced stress and increased emotional support. One study suggested that the lack of these relationships is akin to the health ramifications of smoking 15 cigarettes per day. However, even just one good relationship can help you gain these health benefits, boost your overall health, and live a long and healthy life.

This information is not intended as a substitute for professional medical care. Please always follow your healthcare provider’s instructions. Programs and services are subject to change. Managed Health Network, LLC (MHN) is a subsidiary of Health Net, LLC. The MHN companies include Managed Health Network and MHN Services, LLC. Health Net and Managed Health Network are registered service marks of Health Net, LLC or its affiliates. All rights reserved.