Social or Romantic relationships not only give us pleasure, but also influence our long-term health in ways like good sleep, a good diet, and less or no smoking. Dozens of studies have shown that people who have satisfying relationships with family, friends, and their community are happier, have fewer health problems and live longer.
Everyone is unique and has their own needs and desires when it comes to relationships, handling stress and living a healthy, meaningful life. If you’re the type of person who enjoys being alone, that’s okay too, but attempting to make a few close relationships could mean noticeable benefits to your mental and physical health.
Here are a few benefits of healthy relationships. Some are specific to romantic relationships, and others are not.
Add years onto your life
Research suggests that having healthy social relationships makes a bigger impact on avoiding early death than taking blood pressure medicines. One study even suggests that lack of social relationships has the same effect on health as smoking 15 cigarettes a day.
Having a partner to help take your mind off the pain or remind you to take your medicines, always helps. Research suggests, married people who have undergone heart surgery are three times more likely to survive the first three months post surgery than single patients. People in relationships are more confident about their ability to handle post-surgery pain. A little emotional support can go a long way toward helping a person recover from a procedure or illness.
Being in a committed relationship is linked to less production of cortisol, a stress hormone. This suggests that people in good relationships are less responsive to psychological stress, and that the social and emotional support that comes with having a partner can be a great wall against stress.