I’m feeling thankful to have been able to celebrate Thanksgiving with my friends yesterday. Even though I’m far away from where I grew up and from where my family is, I have been fortunate to make a “new family” here in Australia. This Thanksgiving I’m grateful for the opportunity to celebrate those friendships. ——— Humans have an inherent need to connect, to build relationships and to be close to others. A quality relationship is shared between two people who support, help, encourage, respect, and love each other. Social relationships give us pleasure and can influence our long term health. Relationships can be romantic, family and friendships. Good relationships don’t just happen, they need to be nurtured and worked on. Benefits of having healthy relationships- 1. Partaking in healthier behaviours in healthy relationships - if your friend or spouse does not smoke, you are more likely not to; if your spouse or friend exercises or eats a healthy diet, you are more likely to do the same 2. Part of something bigger/helping with goals - people want to do nice things for others and this can give us the sense of a greater purpose in life. Having healthy relationships encourages us to do nice things for others and for ourselves 3. Stress reduction - having healthy relationships is linked in studies to a decrease in the production of the stress hormone cortisol. Having emotional and social support is a great protection against chronic stress 4. Better recovery from illness - research has shown that people who have healthy relationships recover more quickly from surgery or injuries, and with less pain than people who do not have support 5. Longer life - having healthy relationships can add years to your life. This may be due to happiness and the likelihood of engaging in healthier behaviours with our loved ones
As listed, the amazing health benefits of having healthy relationships in our lives is immeasurable. Why wouldn’t you want to have relationships in your life? Remember, it does take hard work to maintain a solid relationship but it is worth it. Good communication is key, always remember the positives about your friend, spend quality time together, listen to each other, accept that you are different and embrace those differences, be supportive, and learn from your disagreements. Most importantly work on feeling good about yourself, this will help you feel positive towards others in your life. Surrounding yourself with love and giving love to others is one of the greatest gifts in life. ———— What are you grateful for?