Don’t Let the Holidays Stress Your Relationships
Everyone knows that eating right and getting exercise helps you stay healthy and live longer. But, did you know building healthy relationships can be just as important? According to research from Brigham Young University in Utah, friendships not only improve your quality of life but your longevity too.
The study found that limited social interaction is twice as harmful to your health as being obese. And, it’s just as bad for you as:
- Never working out
- Smoking 15 cigarettes a day
- Being an alcoholic
Just as you have to be mindful of creating healthy activity and nutrition habits, you should also think about building healthy relationships. Unfortunately, many people report the holidays can stress their relationships with both their friends and family. Check out the three tips below to improve your social connections this holiday season and enjoy a better sense of well-being.
Deal with conflicts
A common belief about relationships is “If it’s right, then it should be easy.” This simply isn’t true of romantic relationships or friendships. Too often people are willing to cut ties instead of deal with an issue. While it can be uncomfortable to deal with conflicts, it’s necessary. It’s important to discuss concerns as they come up. This should help stop the issue from becoming a larger problem. Disagreements are unavoidable but you can resolve them by focusing on the facts—not a person’s flaws. It’s also helpful to focus on your own behavior instead of someone else’s. When a friend or family member does something you don’t approve of, just remember, you can’t control their actions but you have 100 percent control over how you choose to respond.
Be a good listener
Most people know that good communication is essential for healthy relationships. And, being a good listener is an important part of that. When a friend or family member comes to you, listen without interrupting. Try to hear what they’re feeling as well as what they’re saying. Make sure you’re giving the person your full attention, so put down your cell phone and turn off the TV.
Nothing stays the same forever—including people. Instead of resisting change, learn to embrace it. This outlook not only helps with existing relationships, but creating new ones too. It may be helpful to take time to reflect on your intentions before interacting with loved ones. Too often a flippant comment can create bad blood.