Happy Valentine’s Day from Valley Schools. This is a day where many people take the time to appreciate the healthy relationships in their lives. Whether that is a significant other, friend, or family member. A healthy relationship can be defined as a relationship that is built on mutual respect, trust, honesty, and support. Many studies have shown that supportive relationships are imperative to optimal health. There are three ways that quality relationships work to influence health: behavioral, psychosocial, and physiological.
In regards to behavioral health, some lifestyle behaviors such as physical activity, eating a nutritious diet, and community involvement can be influenced by the people you surround yourself with. Social relationships influence both healthy and unhealthy habits. This is why it is extremely important that you surround yourself with like-minded people with similar interests and values.
Psychosocial health includes social support, personal control, and mental health. Social support has been shown to reduce the impact of stress, as well as lower blood pressure and heart rate. Personal control refers to individuals’ beliefs that they can control their life outcomes through their actions. Social connections may enhance personal control which is advantageous for maintaining healthy habits, mental health, and physical health. Believing that actions control an outcome is the first step to improving your healthy habits. Another way to increase social support is to offer your practical or emotional support to others. Being there for others can help to increase not only one’s sense of support but also their sense of purpose and personal control.
Lastly, feeling supported by others helps to improve physiological health by increasing the immune, endocrine, and cardiovascular functions. It also helps to decrease wear and tear on the body due to experiencing stress responses. In order to improve physiological health, aim for establishing a few meaningful relationships instead of superficial interactions with many people. Having someone that you feel comfortable going to in a time of need is extremely beneficial in relieving a stress response.
Valley Schools wants to make sure that our members stay strong by being in a healthy relationship. This Valentine’s day take some time to support those who support you. After all, they are keeping you healthy!