The quality of people’s relationships really matters. Therapists have always known this, but now research has shown the same. The “Harvard Women’s Health Watch” expands on this by saying that good relationships influence our long term health, happiness and longevity in just as powerful ways as adequate sleep, a good diet, not smoking and exercise. A lack of social ties is associated with depression, increased mortality (by up to 50%) and cognitive decline.

Other studies have linked disappointing or negative interactions with reduced immunity and poorer health and longevity. Therefore, it is important, especially in this holiday season, to use the time to come together with loved ones and to strengthen the ties with those we have let slip away. So, reach out to those you love and those who you miss because you have had an argument or misunderstanding. Try to understand their point of view and to repair the disagreement by creating better understanding between you. You can listen to them and then explain your point of view with calm and understanding. Tell the person that they are important to you and you want to repair the relationship. You will both be healthier and happier for it.

Do you have any questions about these suggestions or thoughts yourself? Please respond and have a conversation.

Barbara Feld

Got thoughts or opinions on this topic? A helpful anecdote you want to share? Feel free to leave a comment below.

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