Your Health and Your Relationships
By Georgianna Donadio, PhD – Recently, I attended a grief support group for adults who have experienced a significant loss over the past year. All the attendees were at various stages of grief and loss, from a wide range of life-altering experiences.
What became clear from listening to the many shared stories was, in the end, the connection between health and your relationships. The loss of their significant relationship was emotionally and physically devastating no matter how much success in other parts of their lives they had experienced.
Many of the attendees had an excellent income; owned high end homes; and lived what would be called abundant, successful lives. But what each of them discovered through the sudden loss of a spouse or family member or through an unexpected divorce is that Sigmund Freud hit the nail on the head when he said: “We are never so hopelessly unhappy as when we lose love.”
HEALTH AND YOUR RELATIONSHIPS
When it comes to our health, we often do not connect how imperative the experience of loving, being loved and belonging are to our overall well-being and immune function. Leaving the support meeting, I realized again the importance of reminding ourselves from time-to-time about what really matters in our lives: Our health and our relationships are intimately intertwined.
Many of the attendees also suffered from chronic headaches, fibromyalgia, asthma, irritable bowel syndrome or ulcers. All of these conditions can be traced back to the stress they experience and subsequent grief that comes from the loss of a significant relationship. That loss can be through illness, breakup or death. No matter what the form of loss, losing significant relationships has a big impact on our health.
One way to improve our health and relationships is to improve the way we communicate with others. We all want to have meaningful relationships wherein we feel respected, valued and listened to. Most of us learn how to communicate from our family of origin, and this does not necessarily prepare us for successful communications or relational outcomes.
Do something good for yourself today and for those you are in relationship with. Take a moment of gratitude for the gift of family, friends, spouse, partner and peers who enrich your life and keep you healthy.
Without the gift of sharing love, our lives and our health suffer. For a free download of Changing Behavior: Immediately Transform Your Relationships with Easy to Learn, Proven Communication Skills, visit the site www.changingbehavior.org and get a better understanding of how to improve your relational communications.