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Christian Counseling - One Benefit of Social Relationships

Although the benefits of social relating are numerous and far-reaching, a recent study highlights how much they affect longevity. A meta-analysis was conducted on 148 studies that researched the effects of health outcomes and longevity on 300,000 people who averaged 64 years of age.

The study revealed a "50% greater likelihood of survival when compared with those who are isolated or have poor social relationships." Further, it is thought having socializing regularly adds a survival advantage that is equivalent to stopping smoking and twice the benefit of regular exercise or maintaining normal weight.1

One theory as to why health benefits exist for those who socialize, to which I subscribe, is the result of our need for connection. One characteristic of being connected to others is the opportunity to receive trusted support from close friends, family, etc. This is especially helpful when people are most open to and need support--during the trials and stresses of life. Support likely reduces anxiety and depression and offers hope, which have a positive effect on health. Other research shows there is a strong association between depression or anxiety to increased risk for physical health problems, such as coronary heart disease.

It seems to me that most all problems in life (some of them physical) are the result of relationships gone bad. Therefore, the obvious help, sometimes cure, for them are healthy and redeeming relationships with God, others and even oneself (i.e., positive self-image and self-statements). The Bible is clear, there is nothing more important than good relationships. One reason relating is so critical to human life beyond physical health is it makes possible acceptance, love, understanding, joy, salvation, and purpose in life.

1 Miller, Michael Craig, M.D. Socal relationships and longevity. Harvard Mental Health Newsletter. February 2011: Vol. 27, No. 8, p. 7.   

1 comment (Add your own)

1. Brenda wrote:
I have just came accross your blogs and am reading through them in search of answer. Christ is amazing when he answers our questions through others. Thank you.

Relationships are important, abusive and wrong relationships for some are easier to come by than healthy relationships. Stastics tell us those raised in wrong relationships seek them and normally find them they start in fear and live in fear for enternity never knowing the other side. Fear keeps them in this position. Thier owner/abuser normally is thier GOD and requires this from them and they learn this from a child and continue on this path. It is very self and SPIRITUALY destructive. What is the saddest thing is, they are never free they are never allowed to be what GOD has called them to be, they think they can save this person when in fact no one can save anyone but CHRIST himself. I love these articles and hope that more CHRISTIANS see your blogs and pass them along. I have lived this life and struggled to over come it - it is only through CHRIST that we survive.

09/18/2012 @ 11:40 AM

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