Us humans are simple folk really. All we really want out of life is to be understood. To be listened to, trusted and cared for. What we really want is to find our tribe. To connect with that group or person who really gets us, who don’t think it’s weird that we buy endless cookbooks in search of the perfect carbonara recipe, or that we can keep pace with Eminem’s rapping. They love us for our quirks. And because of these healthy relationships we all benefit:
- Less stress
When we’re in heathy relationships, not just romantic ones but also with friends and family, studies show that we produce more oxytocin, the happy hormone, and are less likely to succumb to stress and anxiety.
- Positive behaviors
In good relationships we adopt good habits, we kick the booze out and take up exercise and healthier eating. We have better emotional health and as a rule we’re happier in a pair. Research suggests that married people who have undergone heart surgery are three times more likely to survive the first three months after surgery than single patients.
- Sense of well being
When we’re part of a family or group of friends we feel a greater sense of purpose to our everyday. We like feeling that we’re part of something bigger and special. This makes us happy and adds years to our lives.
- Feeling fine
Studies have shown that a lack of positive social relationships has the same negative effect on our health as smoking. Unfortunately, loneliness is a silent killer in our communities. When we connect with people on a genuine level we feel supported and encouraged and free to be ourselves.
Loving, respectful relationships make us happy, healthy and can prolong our lives. Human beings are pack animals. We desperately need one another. We need to make time for each other, communicate openly and listen respectfully. Conversation is key to fostering these deep relationships, with families, friends and partners. It’s important to go beyond the surface and create safe spaces where we can all be ourselves and communicate without judgement.
Take that hug, pick up the phone for a chat, call round to a friend, take your pack of Talking Point Cards on your next road trip and use them as a starting point for conversations. Let’s keep talking, it’s good for us.