3. They Encourage Smarter Choices
Higher self-confidence is a natural byproduct of a strong relationship with others, and being empowered can provide you with the fuel you need to handle stress (a key indicator of how robust your overall health is). What’s more, healthy couples, friends, families, and colleagues inspire each other to make wholesome choices, whether it’s hitting the trails on a Saturday or hitting the salad bar on a Tuesday. A toxic relationship, in contrast, can ravage your health, particularly if you’re coupled up with a partner, friend, or family member whose lifestyle habits are reckless, even dangerous. “Social ties influence health, in part because they influence, or “control,” our health habits,” says the National Institutes of Health. In other words? ‘Choose your friends wisely’ is far more than just a saying.
4. They Bolster Your Immune System
An unhealthy relationship can often lead to increased levels of the stress hormone cortisol, which can lower immune function, decrease memory and learning, increase blood pressure—even cause weight gain. In contrast, a joyful, healthy relationship often generates an upbeat, can-do attitude, thereby reducing stress and strengthening your immune system. Plus, who can argue with the power and importance of having a helping hand? All that being said, the most important relationship you can have is with yourself. Embracing who you are, cultivating your skills, championing your beliefs, and taking excellent care of your mind and body will render you more capable of receiving love—and of offering a helping hand to others.