Social Relationships and Mental Health

on Wednesday, 12 February 2020.

Social Relationships and Mental Health

Research suggests that people live longer lives when they have supportive relationships. Studies show that these individuals have low blood pressure, heal more quickly and are less anxious.

Social relationships foster mental health in various ways:

  • Provide a purpose or meaning for an individual
  • These people (friends and family) encourage positive behaviors
    • Eating healthy 
    • Doing tasks you avoid
    • Your ambitions
  • Conversations with a good, empathetic listener can help relieve stress and help you feel better
  • Physical activities with friends increase your energy and release tension
    • Sports
    • Outside activities
    • Going for a walk 

Unhealthy relationships can easily cause stress and trigger mental illness. Because of this, it is a good idea to only continue relationships with people who don’t encourage bad habits and give emotional support.

Depending on your personal circumstances, you might want to consider:

  • Seeing your family more often
  • Joining social organizations that interest you
  • Texting an old friend you haven’t talked to in a while
  • Volunteering 

It is also never a good idea to limit your peer group to only family and current friends. You might be surprised to discover positive relationships with co-workers, associates or those with similar likes, hobbies or sports.

This Valentine’s Day, assess the social relationships in your life. A toxic relationship can cause stress, anxiety or recurrences of other various mental health issues. Cutting these relationships from your life can free your mindset to instead focus on your own mental health. In turn, fostering more loving relationships.

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