Valentine’s Day is upon us again, and no matter what rituals you observe, if any, at this time of year, it can be a good time to check in on how love and romance can affect our health and happiness. The way we think about success and failure in the realm of love and relationships can have a substantial effect on our health.
Body, Mind, Environment Create Positive or Negative Feedback Loops
The chiropractic model of health is built on the connection between mind, body, and the environment. Chiropractors understand that everything is connected and everything influences health.
Humans are social beings that live and thrive in groups. We’re pack animals.
We enjoy good health when all of our physical and mental systems are in balance, and we’re in balance with our environment. When something throws us out of balance, health suffers. That can include a traumatic social event like a break-up or death of a loved one.
Physical health is directed affected by social connections that affect our mental and emotional states. A lack of social connections, or harmful social connections, causes imbalances that can manifest themselves physically and/or mentally in obvious or hidden ways.
Good Relationships Reinforce Good Health
Harmful relationships or lack of relationships instigate stress that has a negative physical and emotional impact on health. Good, healthy relationships improve health, but take time, effort, and commitment to incorporate them into our lives.
Research shows a strong correlation between kind, empathetic relationships and health. Multiple surveys including over 3000 respondents showed a strong tie between empathetic relationships and wellness. “Social networks, integration and support demonstrated unique positive associations with health,” it was concluded (Soc Sci Med 2004;58:2069-81).
It is easily observed that often, unhappy people are also unhealthy people. We can’t rely upon relationships to make us happy. In fact, sometimes we are happier in solitude than with others. However, it is virtually impossible to thrive emotionally or physically in a social vacuum. Isolation from social interaction and caring friendships is almost always detrimental to their physical and mental health. Being unhappy can literally cause sickness (Behav Med 2003;29:123-30).
Grow Kind and Wholesome Relationships
Imbalances in the social realm can take many forms: too many connections, not enough, harmful relationships that drain us, or the loss of valuable relationships. We all need proper social balance, that is, the right amount of beneficial, life-affirming relationships.
Valentine’s Day is an excellent opportunity to take a good look at your own social environment and how it could be affecting your mental, emotion, and physical wellbeing.
Take some time and reflect on the relationships in your life. Are they unpleasant? Are they empowering and enjoyable? Do you too many friends that you are prevented from having high quality relationships? Do you have enough friends that you can really trust and relax with? Are there relationships that are harmful to your life?
Let’s remember that relationships (i.e. friendships) have a life of their own in a mysterious way. This is natural because two complex organisms are involved: you and the other person. Friendships can’t be forced. They grow, remain stagnant, or die as if they have a life of their own. You can’t force anyone be your friend.
Be the person that you want to be your friend. That is the best thing you can do to help relationships grow.
What qualities you are attracted to? Build those qualities into your life. Trust worthiness, honesty, compassion, dependability, generosity, independence, consistency are some of the qualities that are universally attractive.
Just as encouraging life-affirming relationships is important, so is the need to cull harmful relationships from our lives.
At some point in our lives, we all know people that are users, friends that take, take, take but never give back. It is better to be alone and not miserable, than to endure emotional or physical abuse from false friends. Disassociating and completely separating from people that suck the joy and fun out of our lives is necessary to prevent further damage to ourselves. This is called setting boundaries, and it is a good and healthy thing to do.
Don’t Wait for Good Relationships to Find You. Go Find Them!
If you want to find new friends, whether romantic or otherwise, create new social opportunities by doing things that you enjoy. That is to say by being that person that you want to attract, as it were. There are many public groups that are activity based or self-improvement oriented.
When people see you being active, enjoying life, improving yourself, they will want to connect with you. Nothing is quite as attractive as a happy, confident, smiling person having fun.
The professionals at Hinterland Chiropractic are happy to suggest activities for social engagement where potential new friends can be found. Feel free to ask them for ideas to cultivating social connections.
Healthy Relationships Boost Health and Resilience
The virtues of high quality, empathetic relationships in balance with life’s demands can’t be over-emphasized. When we receive happiness and support from our social conditions, our bodies are enabled to stay healthy and resist attacks that would otherwise make us sick because of added emotional stress.
Metabolic syndrome, a group of conditions that includes high blood pressure, high cholesterol, elevated insulin levels and increased body fat around the waist, occurring together. Metabolic syndrome likely increases the risk of diseases such as diabetes, cancer, stroke, and heart disease. Some studies have shown that increased stress from lack of quality relationships increases the likelihood of this syndrome (Arch Intern Med 2005;165:1022-7).
Robust social connections, i.e. friendships, also improve the chances of retaining acute cognitive abilities, resisting cancers, infections, central nervous system diseases, and maintaining an overall higher quality of life. This is especially important to the elderly and the middle-aged who are thinking about their latter years soon approaching. Lacking a network of supportive friends or family tends is associated with a steeper health decline in later years (J Aging Health 2004;16:517-38).
Hinterland Chiropractic in Gold Coast Is Here To Help
Maintaining a healthy spine and nervous system is a key element to good health. Also, strong health is attractive when it comes to building and maintaining social connections.
Staying proactive about health and happiness creates a positive energy feedback loop that helps you live a long, enjoyable life.
Relationship problems result in stress. Stress, in turn, often manifests in small, spinal misalignments called vertebral subluxations. Chiropractors specialise locating and correcting these with gentle, chiropractic adjustments. Relieving physical stress caused by vertebral subluxations, allows energy flow and nervous system function to improve and heal.
Your trusted Gold Coast Chiropractors also specialise in holistic health counseling, including dietary and lifestyle advisement. For people that are suffering chronic problems that may not arise from an obvious cause, their social milieu and quality of relationships (or lack thereof) can be an important piece of the puzzle. That’s something to consider this Valentine’s Day.
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