Humans are naturally social creatures. We have always needed social connections for as long as we have existed. From basic survival to reproduction, from education to meaningful connection, we have and always will need relationships in our lives.
Creating and maintaining relationships isn’t always easy. It takes work to ensure that we have happy and healthy relationships. Knowing how to increase and nurture our positive relationships as well as decrease or eliminate our negative ones is key to living a happy and satisfying life.
Learning and putting into practice the skills necessary for positive relationships requires a lot from us. Knowing how we will personally benefit can be a reminder that the work is worth it in so many ways. Let’s take a look at some of the many benefits of positive relationships.
Positive social connections with friends, family, community and romantic partners not only give us a great amount of pleasure, they also have a positive impact on our long-term health. Although much of the research that is out there is focused on happy and healthy romantic relationships, we do know that happy and healthy relationships with others in our lives also provide us with much of these benefits as well.
When we surround ourselves with people we love and that love us regardless of the type of relationship, we can see the following benefits:
We are less likely to have health related issues.
This fact explains why people with positive relationships are less likely to have suffer from preventable health issues such as coronary artery disease, type 2 diabetes, and more.
Having healthy and happy relationships are connected to having lower blood pressure and are less likely to suffer from angina (chest pain), heart attacks, and strokes.
Men in particular, who have happy and healthy relationships are more likely to be in better physical health than those that have negative or stress filled relationships.
We also tend to heal quicker than those who are not engaged in positive relationships.
INTERESTING FACT: Having a positive relationship with a pet can also influence how quickly you recover from injuries and surgeries
Happy and healthy relationships help to improve our immune systems. The oxytocin that is produced when you are around loved ones helps to increase our immune response.
People that have positive and loving relationships tend to have less pain, and can tolerate more pain than those without positive and loving relationships.
Happy healthy relationships also benefit us mentally and emotionally as well.
Having relationship connections where you feel safe and secure decreases anxiety, feeling more relaxed, and have more energy.
Having positive committed relationships decreases the production of Cortisol (the stress hormone). Married or paired couples are less triggered by stress and have the ability to deal with stress better than those that do not have positive committed relationships.
As stated above, surrounding ourselves with our loved ones that we have a positive relationship with produces more of the happy hormones - oxytocin, serotonin, dopamine and endorphins which not only help with your essential physical processes, but also boost your moon and feelings.
Interesting fact: Our personal expectations about relationships influences whether we feel we are in a healthy or unhealthy relationship, even if factually we are in the opposite.
Women in particular who have happy and healthy relationships are more likely to have better mental health than those that that are not in happy and healthy relationships.
When we have supporting and loving relationships, we are less likely to have suicidal thoughts or actions.
People tend to feel a greater sense of purpose when they are surrounded by positive and loving relationships. They often feel that they are involved and part of something that is bigger than just ourselves.
We are able to live better lives.
Having positive and connected relationships help us in a very practical way. Knowing that you have people in your life that you can rely on is huge. Whether you need an extra set of hands to help fix a leaky faucet, or you need a small tidbit of advice on an area of their expertise, having people you can go-to helps you in life.
Interesting fact: we have a 50% greater chance of survival if we purposefully create healthier relationships
Having healthy relationships provides you with social support and increases your general sense of well-being. Having people that you can turn to in times of need or times of celebration, knowing that you are supported in all you do, increases your happiness in life.
When you have positive and loving relationships, it can be affirming and validating to know that you are loved for who you really are. Being surrounded by supporting relationships also enables you to grow into your Best Ideal Self.
Having happy and healthy relationships with others is fun, fulfilling and feels wonderful.
It is in our best interest to create and nurture happy and healthy relationships.
Having healthy, happy, loving relationships of all types not only makes us feel good, it also has amazing health, mental, and emotional benefits. From increasing our immune systems to ensuring we feel connected, relationships are worth the work.
Although we do know that relationships of any type can provide many of these benefits, it is worth pointing out the one major key in all of this. It is not just about being in or having a relationship with another person (or pet <3 ). It is about the quality of that relationship.
None of these benefits will come from being in just any relationship. They come from being in a happy and healthy relationship.
A relationship that is positive, loving, and supportive. It does take work to ensure that your relationships are healthy, but as you have just read, it is completely worth it.