Why Relationships MATTER

To mask or not to mask? Anti-vax or total vax? What will we most remember from the COVID crises?  “Relationship deprivation” may be the primary memory for many. Just how vital are connections to our sense of well-being?

Good relationships have been shown to increase longevity, increase stress tolerance, and maintain healthier daily routines. People in healthy long term relationships are less likely to die prematurely (by 50%) than those without such relationships (Brickel, 2022). 

Research shows that good relationships help people live longer, deal with stress better, have healthier habits, and have stronger resistance to colds.  Studies have found that social relationships improve lifespans. Living without these relationships is as unhealthy as smoking!

Brene’ Brown, researcher and author, describes humans as being wired to love, to be loved, and to belong. She reminds us that  we don’t function as we were meant to  when these needs are not met, and that the absence of love and belonging leads to suffering.

A review of the landmark public health study, Adverse Childhood Experiences or ACEs Study, echoes Brown’s declaration. The significance of the quality of our relationships to our health and even social behavior was revealed in this study, surprising many.

Researchers discovered higher ACEs scores resulted in higher incidence of mental, emotional, and behavioral problems in adulthood. High ACE scores are reported to be linked with higher rates of violent behavior, failed marriages, depression, and work absences.

Even so, survivors of such trauma somehow managed to hold jobs with adequate health coverage. However, trauma’s cost in childhood became very obvious as they tried to cope as adults.

The ACEs study is  meaningful because it helps us understand the importance of healthy connections. (Brickel, 2022). 

Following are five ways that healthy relationships benefit us: (Fisher, 2021).

1. We experience less stress.

It’s a booster to our mental health, to know that someone loves and supports us as we journey through our day.

2. Better Healing

Emotional support can pave the way toward enhanced healing from a procedure or illness.

3. Healthier Behaviors

 It’s easier to maintain healthy behaviors, when we have supportive people in our lives who are doing the same.

4. Sense of Purpose

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