The Eight Essentials #7: Relationships

Humans are social beings. We need each other to survive and thrive. Yet too many of us don’t have healthy, nourishing relationships. As a result, we either live isolated lives or we get stuck in relationships that don’t enrich us.

Good relationships do more than just improve our psychological well-being. They also make us healthier. Research has shown that people with strong friendships have less dementia risk and are less likely to die prematurely.

When you make life-destroying choices related to relationships…

  • You’re more likely to be depressed
  • You have higher heart disease risk
  • You are isolated

When you make life-affirming choices related to relationships…

  • Your risk of dementia and premature death goes down
  • You have better perspective
  • You have higher levels of endorphins – the “feel good” hormones

How to Revolutionize Your Relationships

Good relationships are made, not born. They take work. We each have the power to either improve our relationships or leave them behind. Here are some tips for better relationships:

  • To have a friend, be a friend. Healthy relationships require give-and-take. Be a good listener and care deeply about others.
  • Set healthy boundaries. Healthy boundaries over your time, possessions, body, and life tell friends and spouses what is okay and what isn’t. They’re the basis of nourishing relationships.
  • Be what you seek. Think of what you want more of in your life. Is it more joy, more peace, more health? Learn to generate these qualities from within, and you’ll attract others who have those qualities as well.
  • Help others. Helping people, even people you don’t know, boosts your mental and physical health. It helps fight depression and reduce risk of disability. Plus, it’s a great way to make friends!

I like to think of “relationship accounts” like bank accounts. The more you put in, the more you get out. How can you start making more deposits in your relationship accounts?