Countless studies have shown that having satisfying relationships influence a person’s happiness, health and life. If you’d like to boost your longevity, discover the key to beneficial alliances.
Harvard Medical School cited one study that examined data on 309,000 people.
It “found that a lack of strong relationships increased the risk of premature death from all causes by 50 percent”.
This is a bigger risk on your life than smoking 10 cigarettes per day, obesity and inactivity.
Satisfying relationships reportedly “relieve harmful levels of stress” on the “coronary arteries, gut function, insulin regulation, and the immune system”.
It’s important to note that not all relationships are beneficial – some can be harmful.
For example, those in less satisfying marriages are at a higher risk of cardiovascular disease.
The key is to have healthy relationships – but not everybody has been shown how to do that.
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This is where Psychology Today comes in, who shares six tips on how to have healthy connections.
Taking an interest
Taking in an interest in one another involves asking deeper questions about how they’ve experienced something, rather than just what they got up to.
It takes time to build a bond, which can only grow when you share activities together and make plans.
Accept and respect
“This means accepting what we have come to know about the other person and continuing to treat him or her with respect,” noted Psychology Today.
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Developing closer relationships will mean finding out things that aren’t so great about the other person – it’s natural – and vice versa.
Continuing to regard them (and you) in a positive light is essential in practicing healthy relationships.
Moreover, healthy relationships require you talking favourably about each other in social situations and honouring each other’s preferences.
Meeting basic needs
Basic needs include companionship, affection and emotional support, alongside meeting the other needs a person has.
Positive interactions need to outweigh negative interactions in a healthy relationship
People aren’t mind readers though, they can only meet your needs if you share with them that they are.
The ratio of positive interactions to negative interactions must favour the former to be healthy.
Research has shown that relationships are most satisfying when there are more positive interactions with the other person than negative.
When two people interact on a regular basis, butting heads will appear in a matter of time.
Making time to do activities together is important in a healthy relationship
Those in healthy relationships are able to quickly and effectively repair any damage – how?
Begin with an apology, and recognising the other person is hurt, angry or unhappy.
Then address it with a problem-solving mindset, done in a timely manner – things left unsaid will do no good if they fester up inside of you.
The final key to satisfying relationships that can help boost longevity is reciprocity. It takes two people making a conscious effort to have a healthy relationship to work.