August 8, 2016

In Sickness and in Health—Aug. 18 Web Event Promotes the Latter

By Tai of Allsup

I am getting married this month. It’s a pretty good move for me, health-wise. Research says married people enjoy better physical and mental health than those who are not married.

The Mathematica report Effects of Marriage on Health: A Synthesis of Recent Research Evidence offers a few hypotheses:

  • Marriage may result in two incomes and economies of scale, improving economic well-being, which, in turn, improves health by increasing access to healthcare or lowering stress.
  • A spouse may monitor and encourage healthy behaviors, such as good eating habits and regular exercise, and discourage unhealthy ones, such as smoking.
  • A spouse may provide emotional support and intimacy, ensuring social connectedness, which could have positive effects on both physical and mental health.

But you don’t have to be married to give and receive emotional support, experience intimacy and reap the benefits of social connectedness.

Every relationship has the potential to be a power source of positive physical and mental health energy.

The Stanford University Center for Compassion and Altruism Research and Education points to a breakthrough study that showed that lack of social connection is a greater detriment to health than obesity, smoking and high blood pressure.

Conversely, strong social connections are associated with:

  • A 50 percent increased chance of longevity.
  • A stronger immune system.
  • Faster recovery from disease.

Power Up Your Relationships

On the other hand, chronic illness and disability often present relationship challenges.

Maintaining social connections and intimate personal relationships can be difficult in the face of chronic pain and fatigue. Feelings of isolation can be huge barriers to communication.

Limits to physical mobility and energy, as well as transportation can restrict social activities. Veterans and military families who experience these issues also must deal with the unique challenges that come from service-related disabilities and experiences.

Join me and a panel of experts on mental health, patient advocacy and veterans’ issues on Aug. 18, for “True Help Claiming Power to Improve Your Relationships,” at noon CST.

True Help Claiming Power to Improve Your Relationships is designed to help individuals take manageable steps to strengthen their power resources to improve their quality of life and social interactions. Spread the word by sharing to register.

As I think about exchanging wedding vows and the importance of all types of relationships, I wonder what other types of vows would be beneficial? What would best friend vows look like? What about a doctor-patient vow exchange? Send me you thoughts on other possible vow exchanges and share them during the web event.

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