Health Benefits of Healthy Relationships
Relationships are an important part of our lives. They can range from close and intimate to distant and challenging, but they also have a huge impact on our health and well-being.
Healthy relationships have been linked to lower rates of anxiety and depression, higher self-esteem, greater empathy, and more trusting and cooperative relationships. They have been shown to improve the immune system, strengthen a person’s resilience to illness and may even lengthen their life.
Positive interpersonal relationships produce oxytocin, a hormone that helps calm anxiety and reduces the effects of stress on the body (Ertel, Glymour, & Berkman 2009). A lack of emotional support can be a risk factor for inflammatory biomarkers and poor immune function, all of which can lead to health problems such as high blood pressure, heart disease, cancer, and delayed wound healing (Kiecolt-Glaser, et al. 2003).
In a healthy relationship, each partner should make the other feel loved. This means being there for them when they need you, making them laugh, holding hands, cuddling, and sharing experiences.
Physical intimacy is crucial in a long-term relationship and it takes time and work to create or restore a solid foundation. When couples are busy with work or children, it can be easy to tuck it away, but keeping this aspect of your relationship alive is crucial to maintaining happiness in your partnership.
Affection is the defining characteristic of romantic relationships and it should be present in every moment you spend with your partner. Affection reflects the love, care, and commitment you give to your partner.