Close relationships can have some pretty magical effects on your world. It’s why social support is so vital to many people’s lives and why you often feel better around friends, family, and loved ones.
Many people underestimate just how powerful, healthy companionship can be. Don’t make that mistake, or you’ll be missing out on these six health benefits of deeper relationships!
1. They’re Good For Mental Health
Mental health benefits are perhaps the most obvious ones of positive, deep relationships. Good relationships can make you feel good, after all! Though you can have mental illnesses while being in healthy, deeper relationships, the fact is those good relationships can provide you with the support that bolsters your overall psychological state. Here are some specific ways that this works:
· You Experience Less Stress
Happy, deep relationships can make you feel less stressed out overall when compared to people without intimate relationships, according to research. Studies go as far as to say that single people have a higher stress response than married people, thanks to the natural social buffer that marriage provides.
Deep relationships can give you oxytocin boosts. Oxytocin is a feel-good hormone that boosts your positive thinking, and it’s commonly triggered by activities involving comfort and affection. In fact, it’s even known as the bonding or love hormone. Being in deeper relationships improves your happiness levels in pretty significant ways.
· You Feel Less Lonely
Did you know that loneliness kills? Studies have found that those who feel lonely have a higher chance of passing away early than those with more fulfilling social lives. Having deeper relationships ensures that some of the worst of that edge of loneliness are taken off, and you may even not truly feel lonely at all when you have meaningful connections like these.
2. They Help The Aging Process
For many, intimate, deeper relationships are meant to be ones you keep until you die. The goal is often to grow old together, and it’s pretty convenient that relationships like this can also make aging a smoother process overall! Here’s how:
· You Age More Gracefully
Growing old with someone is surprisingly good for the entire process of getting old. This statement doesn’t refer to aesthetic appearance so much as health. It’s commonplace for one’s health to degrade as they age, and being in a relationship doesn’t prevent that – but it can sure help! Studies indicate that being in a positive marriage can mean your health is better overall as you age.
· You’re Less Likely To Have A Heart Attack
Cardiovascular disease can become a significant risk factor the older you get. Being with someone can help lower that risk, according to studies! Better yet, this applies to all ages – it’s just more important to note as you get older. It is believed that this happens because you are more likely to take care of yourself when you have a partner and will be encouraged by that partner to get regular health checks.
· You Live Longer
The theory that married individuals live longer than those who are single is a long-standing one. Though studies have provided differing results, the consensus is that a positive marriage increases one’s lifespan. Being happy with someone for all those years can be beneficial, as it turns out!
3. They Give You Support
The support you get from deeper relationships is a beautiful thing, whether they’re platonic, romantic, or familial. This kind of support can provide you with a more positive view of life and ensures that you’re never alone in your times of need. Here are some types of support you’ll get from deeper relationships:
· Social Support
Human beings are social creatures and naturally feel bolstered by positive support from others. Having a network of people you love, care about, and who love and care about you is a fantastic benefit from getting through the ups and downs of life!
· Practical Aid
On a practical level, having deeper relationships means there are always people to turn to for help. This applies to all sorts of different areas. You can get a friend’s help when moving house, talk about dilemmas with trusted partners, or ask for a family member’s expertise in solving a problem. It’s a great give-and-take that comes with deeper relationships – you help them, and they help you!
· Healthy Encouragement
When you have deeper relationships, you can feel more encouraged to take care of yourself. You’re more likely to exercise if your friends do, eat well if your family does, or break bad habits if your partner helps you work through them, for example. This kind of help and support is a huge benefit.
When you’re in a deeper relationship with someone, it’s common to feel more motivated to continue to work on yourself. You want to be a better friend, family member, partner, or person to them, and to do that, you have to keep working on yourself. This can be kicked further into gear when something you’ve done harms a person you have a deep relationship with. Here are some ways that this may happen:
· You Get The Chance To Be Kind
It’s easy to fall into self-serving patterns in life when you don’t have deep relationships that you care about. Being around other people, especially those you love, teaches you the value of sacrifice and selflessness, and it also allows you to showcase your compassionate side. Without close relationships, you wouldn’t have people that push you to want to be kind to them in the first place, especially if those actions aren’t ones you typically feel inclined to perform. For many, compassion and care are traits that one must practice to become internalized, and you can do that in deep relationships.
· You Get Farther On Your Journey
Personal growth is complex, and a lot of people struggle to keep going in difficult times. Progress isn’t linear, and when you fall back or stumble, it can be tough to want to move on. It may even feel like you’re moving backward. But with the support of those you love and who love you, it becomes more manageable, and they can keep you on track and show you the reality of how much you’ve grown.
· You Aim Higher
It’s easy to sell yourself short when you lack confidence in your ability. Close relationships with others, when they’re positive, can boost your self-esteem, so you feel more encouraged to set your sights on better goals ahead.
5. They’re Good For Physical Health
Physical health is one of the most important things you need to take care of in life, and luckily, more profound relationships can help keep you in good health. Feeling cared for and caring for others does some pretty wonderful things to your body.
Of course, you need to make a conscious effort to maintain your physical wellbeing outside of this. Families, friends, and other loved ones can’t help you if you eat terribly or never exercise. Still, there’s something to be said about the impressive effects of close, positive relationships on these aspects. Here are some of those effects:
· Stronger Immunity
We’ve already discussed how positive relationships boost oxytocin levels, improving mood, and reducing mental strain. This better positive thinking can help improve your immune system and make you less susceptible to illness, according to research.
· Lower Blood Pressure
Having close relationships is suitable for your anxiety and stress levels, which correlate with your blood pressure. Hypertension can be harmful to your overall health and put you at risk for a large number of potentially dangerous health issues, such as heart disease. By keeping your blood pressure in check, deep relationships keep you healthy.
· Better Pain Tolerance
When you’re around people you love – or even just when you think about them – you’re able to tolerate higher levels of pain. In fact, studies have shown that just looking at a picture of a romantic partner can reduce experiences of pain. You gain more resilience and strength through reminders of your loved ones.
6. They Add Value To Aspects Of You
Deeper relationships color the world you live in and add a different flavor to your everyday experiences. In other words, they sprinkle additional value into many different facets of your world. Here are some examples of this:
· Personal Value
To preface, your self-esteem should come from yourself first. In no way should this suggest that you must derive your value from others. Instead, this concept suggests that you can benefit from feeling appreciated by those you share deep relationships. While you can be confident and happy without other people, you can’t deny that knowing others value you makes you feel good!
· Life Value
Human nature dictates that many feel best when they feel like they’re needed and loved and when they need and love and return. It gives you a feeling of meaning and purpose in your life. While you may have other sources of purpose, too, like lofty ambitions, career goals, and other desires, something is comforting about the intimacy and relaxed nature of the meaning you get from deeper relationships. They’re something solid and unshakeable, and they can make you feel fulfilled already, just as you are, without the pull to chase bigger dreams constantly.
· Community Value
The ability to form deeper relationships often means that you’re a part of something bigger than yourself. You become a portion of a bigger group that gives you a “home” and space where you are welcome. Whether this community comes in the form of a simple close friend group, in a more formal organization, or somewhere in between, it’s a valuable experience and one you’ll inherently get a wellbeing boost from.
Final Thoughts On Some Health Benefits Of Deeper Relationships
Even self-proclaimed introverts can gain benefits from being in deeper relationships. You don’t need to have a big group of friends or go out every other night to get these positive effects. Just build close bonds with the people you do like and care about. The people who matter most are the ones who will create these benefits, only by being in your life, without even needing to try!