How Interpersonal Relationships Affect Your Health

Interpersonal relationships are essential for physical and mental health. Apart from helping fight loneliness, it gives you a sense of purpose and is integral to social support.

Interpersonal relationships can be defined as a social connection between two or more people, be it your loved ones, close friends, acquaintances, or co-workers.

Importance of Relationships

Interpersonal relationships help us keep connected. The closeness you feel with your friends and family is key to your social support. Loyalty, trust, and unconditional support form the basis of a strong interpersonal relationship.

Recent studies state that social isolation and loneliness are key risk factors in serious medical conditions such as dementia. It is as harmful as smoking and high blood pressure. On the other hand, people with strong social connections tend to live longer and healthier.

Lack of interpersonal relationships also affects the immune system. Various studies show that people with more interpersonal relationships were less likely to develop a cold when exposed to the virus.

However, not all relationships are equal. Abusive and manipulative relationships are detrimental to your health and can cause unnecessary stress.

Health Benefits of Strong Interpersonal Relationships

The number and strength of your interpersonal relationships can play a huge role in your physical and mental well-being. Human beings are social creatures, and being lonely can be stressful in the long term.

Strong interpersonal relationships can nurture your mind, body, and spirit. Apart from good physical and mental health, social support can

  • Reduce anxiety and depression
  • Improve self-esteem
  • Strengthen your immune system
  • Decrease recovery time

Use Social Support to Improve Your Life

The first step to improving your health is reinforcing your social relationships. Your social network can be as helpful as those hours you spend in the gym.

Social support and interpersonal relationships can have a powerful effect on your health and those around you. Here are some tips to help you use social support to improve your life.

  • Feeling down: Connect with someone who can make you feel better. A simple text can work even if you do not meet them.
  • Plan on meeting your loved ones and close friends weekly or at least monthly.
  • Reach out to those who are lonely and would like some company. Connecting with them can help improve your physical and mental health.
  • Take steps to build your social connections and strengthen relationships within your community.
  • Surround yourself with people who radiate positivity.