When you’re trying to ensure good health you should not overlook having a good relationship. We all need others. If you have a good marriage that is a plus. While a good relationship can affect your health in a positive way, the opposite is also true for a bad relationship. A 2007 study from the University College in London asked over 9,000 men and women about their closest relationships. Participants that described the most negative interactions in their relationship were 34% more likely to develop heart disease. Another project at Rush University Medical Center in Chicago discovered that lonely people were more likely to develop Alzheimer’s disease.
Your doctor can’t prescribe a good relationship. We all varying opinions taste and desires. Disagreements are always part of dealing with other people. You have to work at developing a good relationship.
Accept differences. Don’t try to change others. You should recognize and accept people for who they are. Just like you they are full of strong points, weakness, lovable qualities and some that aren’t so lovable. You have to remember we are all human. If you can’t live with their differences the relationship is not for you.
Think positive. You can view other’s behavior as a deal breaker or as cute quirks. Your mate will leave dishing in the sink when they could have wash it knowing you just cleaned the kitchen. You can start World War III or you can smile at their consistency. They probably left dishes in the sink when you started the relationship. Talk about what you want done in the kitchen before they leave another dirty dish in your clean sink.
Appreciate. No matter how many years you’ve been together remember to say the words “thank you.” There are a lot of things we’re supposed to do but a “thank you” even for small things feels good. Gratitude is a very positive feeling.
Be understanding. You should recognize and respect that your style of handling conflict is different from others.
Money can’t buy you love. More money is not the key to a good relationship. There will always be someone with more money. You may not be able to lavish your mate with the gifts, as your parents or neighbor are capable of doing. Talk about money before you start a relationship. Find out where your mate’s head is.
Accept your age and your mate’s age. We all get old. As life happens we have to adapt to the changes that life throws at us. If you can’t run any longer just walk.
Touch. Kiss. Hold hands. Married couples that touched each other affectionately for at least 30 minutes three times a week had 34% lower levels of stress. Researchers found that being affectionate releases the hormone oxytocin. This hormone can protect you from stress related illnesses. Couples that kiss set off lots of chemical reactions. These chemicals reduce your levels of the stress hormone cortisol. Holding hands also reduces the hormone cortisol.
Sleep together. In a study couples were tracked for seven days. When the women had poor sleep they had more negative feelings toward their mate. You need at least eight hours of sleep every night. Those eight hours could improve your marriage.
Have sex. Plan to have sex. It won’t happen if you don’t plan it in your daily routine. Even if it doesn’t lead to sex it will create a psychological closeness that will encourage physical intimacy.
Find the right partner. You want someone that you don’t have to change. Participate in activities that will expose you to potential partners that like the same things you like. Religion is a deal breaker. Know your future partner’s religion.
Learn to forgive. You must make a conscious decision to forgive your mate, and give up any vengeful behaviors on your part. The negativity and anger you hang onto won’t help you or your relationship. Remember forgiveness is choosing to accept what happened as it happened rather than what could or should have happened.
Compromise. Healthy compromising will keep couples focused on solving their differences in a healthy way. The goal is to use teamwork. An uncompromising relationship can quickly turn into feelings of dissatisfaction. It can also lead to disillusionment. When you were single you were used to making decisions for yourself. A committed relationship requires you to consider the happiness of your mate also.
Many factors contribute to a good relationship. You should learn and understand these words: love, compromise, commitment, trust, time, attention, good communication, listening, partnership, tolerance, patience, openness, honesty, respect, cooperation, sharing, consideration, generosity and constructive. You should also make them a part of you.
If you have a fitness question or concern, write to “Tips to be Fit,” P.O. Box 53443, Philadelphia, PA 19105 or send an email to [email protected]. Past articles can be found at www.phillytrib.com by searching “Tips to be Fit.”