- Healthy Relationships and a Healthy You Center
- Surprising Benefits of Sex Slideshow
- Take the Sex & Love Quiz
- Sex-Drive Killers Slideshow: Causes of Low Libido
- Infidelity FAQs
- Find a local Psychiatrist in your town
The support of family and friends can help you stay healthy.
By Sylvia Davis
WebMD Weight Loss Clinic - Feature
Reviewed by Louise Chang, MD
It's been said that no man (or woman, for that matter) is an island. And it's true: good relationships are essential to our happiness and emotional health. Our relationships can affect our physical health as well.
Indeed, one thing researchers know for sure is that our ability to feel love and intimacy is what keeps us well. Study after study has shown that loneliness is a risk factor for disease, and that relationships have a positive effect on everything from heart health to age-related health issues.
Nurture Your Relationships
It's not always easy to keep friendships and family connections strong when you're busy with work, children, and other demands on your time. Here are some tips for keeping those relationships healthy even in tough times:
- Visit with friends and family. Simple, but important. Take time to make a phone call, send an email, or write a quick note.
- Make new friends. Establishing new contacts with people who have similar lifestyles can help you feel that someone understands your daily challenges.
- If you feel too exhausted to talk to or relate with the people important to you, tell them. Explain your feelings to them. This communication can help you both feel better.
5 Ways to Get Closer to Your Mate
For many of us, a spouse, partner or significant other is the most important relationship in our lives. Yet it's easy to grow apart, even when you live together. Here are five tips from the experts for staying close:
1. Listen, With the TV Off.
This is particularly important when your partner is upset. If you listen carefully, you are more likely to understand the problem and find a way to help.
2. Focus on the Positives.
The solution is to make a conscious effort to focus on the things you like about your partner. "Your partner has many good qualities, as well as things that drive you crazy," Brody says. "Look for [the positives] and drink those in. Jot them down to remember them."
3. Stop Nagging.
And remember to balance any criticisms with a heavy dose of positive feedback. When making a request that could be seen as nagging, take the edge off by expressing appreciation for your partner's good qualities.
4. Spend More Time Together.
But don't make the mistake of limiting your interaction to designated couple time. Try to enjoy each other's company for at least a few minutes every day, especially first thing in the morning, at the end of the workday, and right before bed. "At those times talk about positive things," Wachs says. "It makes a big impression."
Make a special point of greeting each other at the end of the workday. If you're home first, stop what you're doing when your partner arrives and spend a moment together. "Act like [he or she] is important," Wachs advises, "not just the postman stopping by with the mail."
5. Touch More Often.
Published February 2006.
SOURCES: WebMD Medical Reference From Healthwise: "Importance of personal relationships for lowering stress." WebMD Feature: "Get Closer to Your Mate in 2006."
Health Solutions From Our Sponsors
Top Healthy Relationships Related Articles
Men's SecretsWhat do men really want you to know about them? For better intimacy, learn these 18 secrets guys wish you Knew about sex, love, and marriage.
Adult ADHD SlideshowMost people don't associate adults with the term ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder) but it is a common disorder in adulthood. Learn about symptoms, tests, treatment and medications for ADHD.
ADHD & ParentingAttention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is a common disorder seen in children. Parents can learn tips and techniques to teach ADHD children life skills, coping mechanisms, and better ways to learn with ADHD.
Adult ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder)About 2%-6% of adults have ADHD, a common behavioral problem. Symptoms include impulsivity, hyperactivity, and inattention. Treatment may involve ADHD education, attending a support group, skills training, and medication.
IBS Triggers (Prevention)Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a functional disease that can affect the quality of those who suffer from this condition. People with IBS can make lifestyle changes that may modify or control the number and severity of episodes. Certain foods, medications, and hormone levels may trigger IBS episodes, for example fatty foods, dairy products, eating foods in large quantities, foods that contain high levels of sorbitol, foods that produce intestinal gas (broccoli, onions, cabbage, and beans), chocolate, caffeine, physiological stress, some antibiotics, some antidepressants, medicine with sorbitol, and menstrual pain. Exercise, diet, and other lifestyle changes can decrease IBS flares, and prevent the number and severity of IBS episodes of diarrhea and constipation.
Parenting a Child With ADHDADHD is a behavioral condition with characteristics that include hyperactivity, inattention, and impulsivity. Parenting a child with ADHD presents a variety of challenges. Treatment options for children with ADHD include medication and behavioral therapy.
Sex-Drive KillersNoticing a lack of intimacy with your partner? Here we explore how stress, lack of sleep, weight gain, depression and low T can cause low sex drive in men and women.
Stress Management TechniquesStress may be considered as any physical, chemical, or emotional factor that causes bodily or mental unrest and that may be a factor in disease causation. An important goal for those under stress is the management of stress in our lives. Elimination of stress is unrealistic, since stress is a part of normal life. We can however, learn to manage stress through techniques such as exercise, relaxation, meditation, time management, and support systems so that we have control over our stress and its effects on our physical and mental health.
VasectomyA vasectomy is a simple surgical procedure used as a permanent form of male birth control. The odds of pregnancy after a vasectomy are low and the side effects are few. Although the procedure can be reversed, it is usually difficult, expensive, and unsuccessful.