8 Dimensions of Health—Your relationships

How much love and support do you feel?

You’re more than the number of Facebook likes you got today. The quality of your social support system has real impact on your life. Taking care of your relationships involves finding nurturing, supportive, genuine social interactions.

When your relationships are healthy, you’ll feel a sense of belonging, feel loved and cared for, and have the ability to give and get help from others. Having healthy relationships isn’t about the number of friends you have. Even if you don’t have a lot of friends, the most important thing is that you don’t feel lonely. If you struggle with your social health, you might not be able (or willing) to turn to others when you need support. You might feel uncomfortable in certain social environments, and you may not feel any deep or meaningful connections with people.

Your relationships affect other health dimensions

  • Relationships → body: Good relationships are associated with lower cardiovascular risks.
  • Relationships → emotions: Social connections can help make you more resilient to stress.
  • Relationships → work: Friendships at work make us more satisfied with our jobs and more engaged.

Improve your relationships

Making small changes to your day-to-day interactions may be just what you need to start cultivating or improving your relationships. For some, making connections can feel scary. But we encourage you to dive in with energy and curiosity—and not necessarily make drastic changes. Building relationships takes commitment and time, but staying healthy and happy is a long game. Start small, be consistent and patient, and acknowledge your accomplishments along the way. Three things to do to start improving your relationships today:

  • Show gratitude! Let the people you care about know that you’re thankful for them.
  • Engage! Banish your phone during meals and conversations.
  • Do things together! Take time for leisure activities together.

Your relationships are really important, but they’re just one part of your whole health picture.

Read about all eight dimensions of health. They overlap, intertwine, and impact one another. If you’re doing well in each of these dimensions, you’ll stay healthier and happier. Also, check out Carebook’s Facebook page where we’re building a healthy, happy community. We’d love to hear your ideas and experiences about relationship health.