Is your relationship with your significant other, mother, father, or friend making you sick? Believe it or not, there’s scientific evidence to suggest that our relationships can actually contribute to illness. Therefore, in order to achieve a healthy life, it is important to make our relationships healthy.
There have been studies to suggest that people who are married often tend to live longer. Experts reason that marriage provides a nurturing environment for individuals, enabling them to better fight off disease. The support of a loving spouse can make all the difference in the world, especially when one is facing a serious illness.
Maintaining healthy relationships can help to lower our stress. Stress is considered to be an important contributing factor for illness. By improving our relationships with other people—particularly with family members—we can cut down on the stress which can sap our strength, making it difficult for us to ward off infections.
But it is not enough to know that healthy relationships can make us healthier. It is also critically important to know exactly how we can ensure that our relationships are healthy. Psychologists contend that the key ingredient of a healthy relationship is communication. Unless we feel safe to communicate our feelings, we will be unable to thrive in our relationships. If you don’t like to confront people, you might find it more difficult to communicate. Therefore, you must learn effective communication skills.
Before you can communicate in your relationships, you must know your goals and desires. In other words, you have to know what you want before you can articulate it to another person. You should try to keep an open mind, listening carefully to what the other person has to say. If you are bothered by a person’s behaviour, try to avoid saying something like, “You are always late.” Instead, say something to the effect that, “When you are out and I don’t hear back from you, I worry.” That way, you are telling the other person how his or her behaviour makes you feel. It is also vitally important that you admit your mistakes and apologise for them. Such a simple action shows that you are really concerned about the other person’s feelings.
Healthy relationships also depend upon setting limits for yourself, and respecting the limits of other people. You should never tolerate abuse in a relationship, whether it is emotional abuse or physical abuse.
At the first warning signs, you should seek distance from the abuser. Such distance is critical for your emotional well-being and long-term health.