When it comes to health and wellness, we often think about which vitamins to take, what foods to eat and how much exercise we can squeeze into our day, but there’s one important piece of the puzzle that’s often overlooked: relationships.
The truth is, who you socialize with, work with and play with – and in particular who you love and live with – can have a profound impact on your overall health.
A healthy relationship can…
Give you the energy you need to accomplish your goals. Dysfunctional relationship dynamics can cause a great deal of distress and be a heavy drain on both your physical and psychological energy. In a healthy relationship, both partners are loving and supportive of each other’s goals and dreams.
Increase levels of feel-good brain chemicals. When you feel safe, supported and loved, your brain is rewired to produce higher levels of “happy” neurotransmitters like serotonin and dopamine – and the cycle of happiness continues!
Support normal immune health. An unhealthy relationship can often lead to higher levels of the stress hormone cortisol; an excess amount of which may suppress normal immune function. In contrast, a happy relationship may have a positive impact on stress response and immune health.
Help you make healthier choices. The self-confidence that results from a healthy relationship can help you make healthier choices about everything in life, from who to spend time with and where to live to what to eat for dinner.
Ultimately, an emotionally stable and healthy psychological relationship makes you healthier because it nourishes every aspect of your being. Be on the lookout for a partner (or a best friend) who offers the support you need for a healthy life!