Saturday, August 14, 2010

Healthy Healthy Relationships

I've mentioned before how I think resolved conflict and dedication lead to rich relationships. But here's some evidence on the health benefits to them:
The benefit of friends, family and even colleagues turns out to be just as good for long-term survival as giving up a 15-cigarette-a-day smoking  habit. And by the study's numbers, interpersonal social networks are more crucial to physical health than exercising or beating obesity.
Here's why:
Social relationships are thought to help improve health either by buffering individuals from stressful situations or creating a norm of healthful behaviors.

"There's a pretty large literature linking social relationships to a variety of physiological processes that are linked to disease risk," Holt-Lunstad says. Social support has been linked to lower blood pressure, and a diverse collection of contacts is associated with better immune system functioning.
It seems the more healthy relationships you can foster, the better off you are (barring passion fatigue). So skip the gym today and go grab a smoke with a friend. And it's worth noting, although therapy is helpful, it isn't a replacement for real relationship.

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