Why Being in a Relationship Might Make You Healthier
You try to take care of yourself by watching what you eat, working out, and cutting back on stress, but it could be that there’s an aspect of your life that could have a bigger impact on your overall health than you realize: your relationships.
According to Psychology Today, satisfying relationships not only make us happy, but they also “influence our long-term health as much as getting enough sleep, eating healthy, and not smoking.”
Here are some more reasons why being in a relationship might help you become healthier.
Being in a relationship motivates you to live longer
When you find someone that you truly love and care about, you’ll find that your motivation to take care of yourself increases significantly. This is primarily because you want to spend more time with them – both in the present moment and also well into the future. In fact, there are studies that show that having support from your relationship partner and being in a relationship, in general, is related to eating more vegetables, exercising, and quitting smoking.
And if your significant other happens to be healthier than you, that’s even better. Even on a friendship level, it’s shown that when you surround yourself with healthier people helps motivate you to be healthy as well. In short: being around healthier people can be an incentive to take better care of our own health. Exercising becomes a social activity – like going for a run together or even a walk in the park. And in a relationship, your eating habits tend to rub off on each other – if your significant other eats more health consciously than you do, it’s likely that you will start to adopt similar eating patterns.
You want to look good for your partner
When you’re in a relationship, especially in the early stages, or if you just started dating – that spark of physical attraction is still very much in play, and you are motivated to look your best. This may result in you hitting the gym, watching what you eat and more, all in the name of looking good for your new romantic interest.
Of course, this is the case for new couples who see each other in person and meet regularly, but this can also be the case with long-distance relationships as well. Even in a long distance relationship, you can still expect to feel that same thrill of new love, and be motivated to get to know each other better, both mentally and physically.
Being in a relationship can reduce stress and anxiety
Feelings of loneliness and worry about the future are one of the top causes of stress and anxiety in adults today. Relationships can help ease this type of stress significantly. First of all, being in a relationship creates feelings of happiness and comfort. And secondly, social support has also been shown to reduce the biological stress response.
Also according to Psychology Today, in studies in which people were subjected to social stress in public, those who “had a close friend or family member present showed less cardiovascular arousal” and a generally faster recovery from stress. In short: being in a relationship can reduce stress and anxiety, and help you feel less alone, more supported, and more energized about your life. Furthermore, supportive, healthy relationships can also help protect against larger mental health issues, like depression.
When it comes to relationships, whether they are romantic, familial or between friends, one thing is the same: it’s quality over quantity that really matters. Surround yourself with people who love and care about you, and your health will see the benefits.