Keisha R. Callins, MD, MPH
As primary caretakers of the family, women are often focused on balancing responsibilities like working, raising children, supporting family and friends, maintaining the home, participating in religious activities, volunteering with civic organizations, and pursuing additional education. These demands barely allow for personal time, much less time for romantic relationships. However, investing time in your romantic relationship can be beneficial to your health. A healthy relationship, through both its comforts and challenges, can provide opportunities to reciprocate communication, provide companionship, experience mutual respect, give and receive support for sorrows and celebrations, and learn about forgiveness. Undoubtedly, these experiences can significantly impact our emotional and physical wellbeing.
A satisfying relationship can: 1) Improve your mental health because it can decrease levels of depression and anxiety; 2) Raise your pain tolerance because a strong emotional connection provides support and affects the brain’s ability to deal with painful events; 3) Reduce your stress because having an encouraging partner can help you endure difficult situations; 4) Prolong your life because a beneficial partner can provide a healthy, consistent support system; 5) Increase your happiness because positive relationships stimulate the brain to produce the chemicals that help make you happy; 6) Lower your risk of heart attack because your partner can improve your sense of peace and encourage you to take better care of yourself; and 7) Ignite your inspiration because your partner’s support can motivate you to be purposeful and persistent.
When you invest in your relationship, it can encourage a positive response from your partner. A consistent effort to focus on your partner with your time and thoughtful actions is likely to promote a reciprocal response from your partner towards you. Making a difference in someone’s life almost always makes you feel better. Your partner is no exception. On the other hand, if your feelings about your partner are less than positive and your relationship is not proving beneficial, it is definitely worth your health to reevaluate and make appropriate adjustments. I encourage you to discuss your relationship concerns with a healthcare provider, who can help you identify issues and utilize available resources to ensure the best outcomes.
Take a few moments to think about why you appreciate your special person, and then think of ways to show him or her how you feel. Try not to think of it as yet another task but as an investment with the potential to greatly benefit your mental and physical health. A satisfying relationship may be the missing key that helps balance the daily demands of life and improve your overall wellbeing.
Quote of The Month:
“In all the world, there is no heart for me like yours. In all the world, there is no love for you like mine.”
~ Maya Angelou ~