Have you ever wondered how relationships could affect your physical and mental wellbeing?
Relationships between two people put simply is the way they are connected with each other. Relationships are an important part of our co-habitation with other people, with our families, with our friends, at our places of work and in the community. Relationships contribute greatly to our wellbeing as they affect our mood and overall physical and mental health.
Relationships can be very difficult to build. They can be very exhausting too. However, they define us, they make us who we are and help us relate with other people.
“People who have close friends and confidants, friendly neighbours and supportive co-workers are less likely to experience sadness, loneliness, low self-esteem and problems with eating and sleeping”(Helliwell and Putnam, 2004)
It is important to know that people seek relationships for various reasons. Relationships among many adults can either be intimate or social. The quality of relationships we have with people is equally important; it requires some investment of time, energy and few other commitments.
A sour relationship can be toxic, damaging and detrimental to a good mental health while a healthy relationship can be rewarding; promoting a healthier community, strong family ties and providing a good sense of belonging which are all essential for our mental wellbeing.
The high rates of mental health problems including depression and anxiety have been associated with relationship breakdown causing loneliness, rejection and isolation. As we grow older, the stability of the relationships we build over time can be affected by work-life balance, financial status, loss of loved ones or bereavement, divorce and sometimes retirement. It is therefore important that we maintain a stable and good relationship to help our mental wellbeing as being in a stable relationship has been linked with our physical and mental wellbeing.
The chances of isolation and loneliness are higher in older people who are retired and have become grandparents. This is a very significant transition that can affect relationships. It is important that you engage in activities such as joining local groups within your community, sports, and volunteering that can give a sense of belonging and pave a way for social connections.
- Commit to building a healthy and stable relationship.
- Listen to other people around you and be willing to compromise.
- Be fair and non-judgmental.
- Make time for family and social friends connection.
- Surround yourself with positive people; identify unhealthy relationships whether online or offline that can affect your mental wellbeing.
- Show gratitude to people that have helped you.
- Learn to forgive, manage stress.
- Create and maintain boundaries.
- Stay active and connected.
- Healthy Lifestyle including healthy eating, exercise and minimal consumption of alcohol.
- Identify transition change and seek help to cope with change and life adversity.
The quality of the relationships we build within our families, friends and spouses can be a predictor of our mental health and wellbeing later in life. They are very critical and equally as important as healthy lifestyle.
A stable and healthy relationship can make you happier, healthier and more fulfilled. Nurturing and sustaining your relationships should become a habit all year round and not left out until the 14th of February. It will help your physical and mental wellbeing.
OUR HEALTH TIPS AND ADVICE ARE NOT A REPLACEMENT FOR YOUR HEALTH CARE PLAN ALREADY IN PLACE AND AGREED WITH YOUR HEALTHCARE PRACTITIONER. PLEASE BE GUIDED.