Relationships Matter

by The Cooperative

Why do Relationships Matter?

The relationships that we build throughout our lives are one of the essential components of our health and well-being. If you think about your most cherished memories, they most likely include people you have strong relationships with. These strong relationships improve quality of life, and they have a significant effect on our physical, mental, and emotional health throughout our lifespan. Healthy relationships are just as vital to our health as adequate sleep, regular exercise, a healthy diet, and no tobacco use.

Relationships Matter because:

  • Provenly associated with lower rates of anxiety and depression.
  • Higher rates of motivation, self-esteem, empathy towards others.
  • Overall satisfaction with life. 
Healthy relationships strengthen our immune system, reduce stress, improve our ability to recover from disease or injury, and can potentially lengthen our lifespan.  A study of 309,000 people found that a lack of solid relationships and support systems increased the risk of premature death by 50%. While having strong relationships impacts our health, a lack of these relationships can be detrimental.

Lack of relationships can increase:

  • Risk of obesity, inflammation, and high blood pressure. 
These three health issues can lead to heart disease, cancer, and stroke. Having a network of relationships important.  A broad social support system and different types of relationships help maximize the quality of our relationships.

Relationships can be broken up into three categories:
Intimate Relationships: people you love and have the strongest relationships with.
Relational relationships: people you see regularly and have a common interest with, such as coworkers and classmates.
Collective relationships: people who are associated with you through a group and common goal such as a church congregation, teammates, volunteer group, or recreation groups.

Each of these relationships has a purpose and can help us have a wide range of healthy relationships. If you feel you lack healthy relationships, there are many ways to develop new relationships! 

4 ways to meet new people:

  • Get involved in a group that has a common interest as you (recreation leagues, community volunteering, clubs).
  • Interact with coworkers.
  • Use your current network of family and friends to meet people.
  • Be open to trying new experiences. 
Strong relationships are essential to our physical, social, and emotional well-being and improve our satisfaction and quality of life.  Branching out of our comfort zone and seeking new relationships can be intimidating, but having healthy relationships makes taking that chance worth the risk.

Written by: Coach Alex

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