The relationships we engage in have such a big impact on our health and well-being. Perhaps more so than you even realize! Humans are social creatures by nature. We desire connection and community. That’s why it’s not too surprising to learn that impactful relationships are critical to our overall health. Studies show that having meaningful, healthy, and satisfying relationships promote good health and can also help you live longer. The benefits of having good relationships in your life range from increased happiness, reduced stress, greater sense of purpose, and more!
Who you keep around and who you allow access to your life can positively or negatively impact mental, emotional, and physical health. Negative relationships and social interactions increase the risk of depression, anxiety and suicidal ideation. Having positive relationships and social interactions promote the exact opposite - reduced risk for mental health issues. We should all strive to engage in healthy, positive, and supportive social relationships to optimize our highest well-being.
So what exactly qualifies as a positive relationship? Some common features and signs of a positive relationship include:
With this in mind, let’s discuss three types of relationships that will help you live longer and optimize your physical and mental health!
1. The Cheerleader
The cheerleader is someone who offers you ultimate support. This person cheers you on, celebrates your success, and pushes you towards reaching your goals! This person does not exhibit jealousy or envy towards your accomplishments, they genuinely want to see you thrive. They are enthusiastic, optimistic, and always ready to take on life. Having a cheerleader in your life boosts your self-confidence, pushes your limits (in a good way) and always leaves you feeling accomplished and successful.
2. The Good Listener
The good listener is someone who offers an open, empathetic ear. This is the person you go to when you’re having a bad day and you just need to let it all out (because we all do, from time to time). This person is a shoulder to cry on, someone you can tell your deepest and darkest secrets to, and an ultimate supporter. The good listener is someone you trust, value, and respect to always hear you out without repeating your sensitive information to the world. This person shows a genuine interest in the things you are telling them and actively listens to you while you’re speaking. Having a good listener in your life will make you feel heard, respected, and important.
3. The Adventurous One
The adventurous one is the one who is always willing to join you on trips, activities, and hobbies that you enjoy. They get you out of your comfort zone and bring more excitement into your life. This person is fun, spontaneous, and they always know the best places to go. Being bored around this person is not an option! The adventurous one holds positive qualities such as facing challenges head on, never settling for less, and they appreciate the little things. This person will always add joy to your life and keeping them around will help you live a more adventurous life yourself! We all need adventure in our lives to keep us young and curious minded. The adventurous friend is someone you can depend on, the life of the party, and someone who keeps you open to experiences.
You may be lucky enough to know someone in your life who embodies all three of these qualities. Do your best to surround yourself with people who act as your cheerleader, a good listener, and those who seek out adventure. And, if nothing else, try to embody all of these elements in yourself because our relationships with ourselves are just as critical as those we keep with others.