|Every day you encounter countless people with whom you engage in a variety of different types of relationships. Whether you're sharing good news, a funny story or an interesting observation you'll often find yourself turning to someone specific. Does the quality of your relationships make a difference? Studies show that being in a satisfied relationship can not only make you happy, but influence your long-term health.|
A 75-year Harvard study found that true happiness comes from choosing to be happy with whatever you do, strengthening your closest relationships and taking care of yourself physically, financially and emotionally.
Relationships are important
Harvard's Grant and Glueck study tracked the physical and emotional well-being of 268 male graduates from Harvard, as well as 456 poor men growing up in Boston from 1939 to 2014. Countless interviews, blood tests, brain scans and surveys about their levels of contentment and achievement showed that feeling and expressing love is the single most important variable in remaining emotionally and physically healthy and living longer.
Decades of their research revealed that human love, whether a deep friendship or romance, insulate the cells in our bodies from damage.
Quality vs Quantity
When we were younger we often thought that the 'popular kids' with the countless number of friends and followers had it made, with not a care in the world â°ÃÃ right? Wrong.
Hundreds of acquaintances and admirers on social media won't turn the key to long lasting happiness. The study found that having a deep level of connection and trust is what will enhance and preserve lives. The men in both groups who reported being closer to their family, friends and community lived longer and were happier and healthier than their less social counterparts.
You really only need a few close relationships to be happy, because it's the quality of your close relationships that matters most.
Invest in your relationships
Three things you can do to enhance your relationships on a consistent basis:
- Pay attention: be fully present, listen more and talk less
- Body contact: a kiss, a hug, or even a tight squeeze of the hand can speak louder than words
- Express gratitude: let them know how grateful you are for their presence in your life
The truth is good relationships aren't built overnight. The process takes time and the characteristics grow stronger over time. Start by looking at what you can do to change and strengthen some of the relationships you have today. It's usually easier to change yourself rather than trying to change someone else.
One important thing to remember is that it's never too late to build new relationships or reconnect with old friends. This investment can pay off in better health as well as a brighter outlook for your future, which is well worth it.
"The best relationship is one in which your love for each other exceeds your need for each other"
- Dalai Lama
Feel the love this month by attending our FREE February Webinars!
Choose Self Love - February 15 at 7 p.m.
Caregiving for Our Love of Family - February 22 at 7:30 p.m.