Studies show that positive social engagement and meaningful relationships attribute to better overall health.
Building strong, positive relationships has been proven to help your social, mental and physical health as well as your overall wellbeing.
A problem shared is a problem halved.
Studies have also shown that those with one or two people they can rely on who are a positive influence on their life are usually less stressed. It could be a family member, a friend or even your partner but having that one person to talk things through with when things get tough really makes a big difference.
It is down to you.
Ultimately, who you allow in your life is your decision. In order to create strong relationships, you need to completely eliminate any toxic ones. You know immediately in your gut what relationships in your life emotionally drain you and bring you down. Surround yourself with positive people and people that make you feel good and have the self-love to eliminate the toxic ones.
What does the research say?
Not only do these relationships give us pleasure but they actually influence our long term health too. Studies show that strong relationships have the same effect on our health as adequate sleep and a good diet.
People who have good relationships with the people in their lives have been shown to be happier, healthier and live longer.
A study done by Harvard Medical, updated on Aug 19th, proves that good connections and support can improve health and increase longevity.
Shockingly, the study also found a lack of relationships is directly associated with depression and increased mortality. It also showed that a lack of social ties had a link with cognitive decline in later life.
Another study scientists have investigated is how caring behaviours actually trigger stress-reducing hormones. Stress, as we know, can have harmful effects on the body. It can affect your arteries, your gut and your immune system. Having positive relationships in your life has proven to reduce stress levels and in turn, reduce the chance of stress-related illness.
One huge positive we can all take from this study is that caring relationships with others may just be one of the most easily accessible strategies to access. It's free and it can be interpreted in a lot of ways.
If you struggle to meet new people find something you are interested in and join a club with people who have similar interests.