I BELIEVE in Relationships

 [tweetherder]I BELIEVE relationships are important for a healthy, happy life![/tweetherder]

February seems like the perfect time to talk about relationships.  One of my core values IS family/ relationships.  There are many reasons to value relationships, but for me, it comes down to this question that I often use to help make decisions:Be Happier

“Will this matter in ten years?” 

If the situation has to do with someone else close to me (i.e. a relationship), the answer is often yes.   If not, it’s almost ALWAYS no.  Stands to reason that relationships are very important to me.

Turns out I’m not alone in this desire for close relationships – and as a bonus, having strong relationships is a health booster.  There are numerous recent studies that highlight the health benefits of positive relationships with others.

What are some of those benefits?

  • Longer life – people with strong social relationships are 50% less likely to die prematurely (from a Harvard research study of 309,000 people).  Fifty percent is HUGE.
  • Effective stress relief – having someone to talk with, vent with and share our feelings is an extremely effective way to reduce our stress levels
  • Overall satisfaction with health – a 2012 Gallup poll indicated that people who have others to count on are more likely to be satisfied with their health.

Health benefits aside, there is something special about having others you can depend upon to share in your joy and sorrow.  Sometimes just being with someone else can create feelings of joy.  Relationships often add meaning and purpose to our lives (I’ve found this is especially true for parents or caregivers).

I don’t think anyone can dispute the validity and need for relationships, so throughout the month we’ll talk more about the various types of relationships in your life and ways to improve them.  For now, take a few minutes and create a list of all the people in your life – YOUR relationships.  Whether your list is short or long, makes you feel a bit happier, doesn’t it?

Are relationships important to you?  Why?  I’d love to hear your thoughts, so please share in the comments.

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