Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Healthy Living: The Key to Successful Living - Part 4

(This is the fourth of a five-part series on the importance of health as key to a successful life. Today we look at the value of quality relationships.)

Quality Relationships

While there may be no definite evidence that a loving relationship is beneficial to one's health, it certainly seems to have a positive effect on one's overall well-being.

Those who are involved in a long-term loving relationship where each person is treated with mutual respect tend to be happier, more relaxed, have more confidence and are generally healthier than individuals who don't. The reason has to do with that old bugaboo called stress. It's a well known fact that stress is a killer that can add to a host of maladies, both emotional and physical. Stress has been proved to cause brain shrinkage. Stress literally kills brain cells!

If an individual is involved in a negative relationship, there is more likelihood that they will suffer from stress related ailments. The more relaxed and loving a relationship is, the better the chances are that an individual will not suffer as many health problems.

Being in love and being able to share and receive affection promotes happiness, relaxation and peacefulness, which leads to less stress. Lower stress levels can lead to lower blood pressure and a much more relaxed and calm mental and emotional state of being.

People who are in abusive relationships or who live in a home environment where negativity is prevalent seem to be more susceptible to illnesses.

When suffering from stress the body's immune system may be compromised therefore making the person more prone to flu and colds along with a host of other illnesses. Those who are involved in a stressful relationship may find themselves emotionally and physically exhausted.

A healthy relationship can improve one's well-being in a variety of ways. This is not to say that a good relationship is one without disagreements or problems but in a healthy relationship, the partners are able to talk openly and honestly with each other. They are able to work through their disagreement by having good lines of communication and are able to transcend problems that would otherwise escalate in a relationship that is not as healthy as it should be.

Healthy relationships are not perfect; no relationship ever is. But when a person does not feel comfortable enough to discuss his or her feelings with a partner, those emotions will build inside, causing stress that may later lead to serious health conditions.

Whether we believe it or not, love does have a curative effect. The mind can influence the body and the healing process and when a person knows that there is a stable, loving individual in their life that they can depend upon, the mind is relaxed and comforted and is able to put more effort into healing the body. If a person who is in an abusive relationship becomes ill, they may not care whether they get better or not.

A quality, loving relationship has been known to increase longevity. The proof is in the downward spiral of a spouse who's life-long mate passes on. We all have known someone who lost a loved one and died a short time later. A broken heart can be just as deadly as a diseased one.

Loving, healthy relationships are an important ingredient to success. Just look at history and see how many individuals were spurred on to greatness after finding the love of their life. Positive energy directed at any object will eventually cause great things to happen. Such is the power of love directed at the object of your desire.

Yes, you can achieve success without the love of a soul mate, but it's much more difficult and a much more empty process. Love is the exlir for our soul, the tonic that heals all ills. Cultivate love, not only for your family, but all you come in contact with. In the end, beauty fades, money comes and goes, but one thing remains constant - love.

And as the Bible so eloquently states: "Love hopes all things, bears all things, believes all things. Love never ends."

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