There's absolutely no doubt that one of the key sources of happiness is within ourselves...our thoughts and decisions that lead to our actions and interaction; all of this adds up to how we feel and hopefully, to our happiness.
At the same time, however, there's also no doubt that selfishness is not happiness and that when it comes to living a good life...other people matter. Which means our relationships matter.
And as this great article from PsychCentral argues, good quality relationships influence not just our happiness but also our health. It begins like this...
While sociologists and psychologists have known that having a close relationship improves one’s health and happiness, the biological underpinnings that influence these health effects has been obscure.
Learning how relationships provide protective health benefits has been accentuated with new findings that show dramatic benefits of being in a relationship for health issues ranging from pregnancy and birth defects to cancer and chronic disease.
“We know that having relationships in general and being socially integrated is associated with a reduced risk of mortality,” said psychologist Dr. Paula Pietromonaco of the University of Massachusetts.
“Our research follows from attachment theory, which suggests that there is one primary person that people turn to for comfort when they are distressed or frightened.” In adulthood, that person is often a romantic partner or spouse, she says.
“These sorts of relationship partners are especially important when people are faced with a stressful event because they have the potential to comfort and calm the person who is experiencing distress or to hinder that person’s efforts to feel better.”
In an ongoing longitudinal study of 225 newlywed couples, Pietromonaco’s team is finding that the way people feel attached to each other affects cortisol levels in response to stress — and can possibly predict depression or anxiety over time.
That is, our emotional quotient, as associated with being in a relationship, can influence future mental health challenges...
...keep reading HERE and make sure you put this into practice by dedicating time to your family and friends; it'll "pay off" in terms of greater happiness, health and success for all!
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