Relationships are a key part of our lives. They range from close and intimate to distant and challenging, but no matter their nature, they play a vital role in our physical and mental well-being.
The Health Benefits of Relationships
Healthy relationships are characterized by trust, mutual respect, openness, honesty, and affection. They also encourage communication, which is a crucial element of any relationship.
A meaningful relationship is a connection that has been formed between two people who have shared values and goals. These relationships are rooted in respect, kindness, openness, intention, and support, according to psychologist Sarah Hopgood, Ph.D.
Having someone you can count on can help keep you grounded and focused during hard times. They can be a sounding board, encourage you to seek professional help, and act as an accountability partner.
When we share memories with our loved ones, they can make us feel better about ourselves and a stronger person overall. These memories can also reduce stress.
Reducing Stress With Intimacy
A significant other can be a great source of emotional and physical intimacy, and research shows that physical intimacy can reduce stress. Studies also show that emotional intimacy can lead to feelings of encouragement and happiness, as it makes us feel wanted and cherished by our partners.
A meaningful relationship can also provide a safe environment to develop our communication and conflict resolution skills, according to psychologist Danielle Antin, Ph.D. This is because people who have healthy relationships tend to be more willing to share their concerns, which can make it easier to talk about issues with their partner.