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Healthy relationships are helpful to our health, according to relationship research. Strong relationships have been linked to better health and a longer lifespan in numerous studies. In fact, solid bonds are a better predictor of mortality than any other good lifestyle behavior. In a variety of ways, those closest to us can help us cope with difficulties such as job loss, relationship break-up, or illness. Relationships can shield us from the negative effects of stressful situations by providing comfort, reassurance, or acceptance, as well as sheltering us from the stressor’s negative energy. In addition to offering comfort and safety, our relationships can help us grow and fortify ourselves against future disaster. Close friends and family members can support us in becoming stronger by assisting us in identifying our own strengths or acquiring the skills we need to cope with a stressful situation. Feeney and Collins compare the process to putting a house back together after a storm – the house is restored as well as strengthened to resist the next storm. For example, one can help a friend who is having problems in her marriage due to a lack of self-confidence by strengthening her confidence and helping her find ways to be more forceful with her spouse, and this new confidence can also help her communicate with other people. As a result, the help you get not only helps you cope with that particular stressor, but it also improves you by teaching you new skills that you may use in other, similar situations. Friends and family members can also help us put our new talents to good use in order to recover from adversity in a positive way, such as forming a new relationship following a split or making a significant professional change. This can be done by assisting someone in rephrasing a bad incident, such as giving a buddy a different perspective on a work setback and reminding her that it’s a common occurrence and not a sign of incompetence. Relationships aren’t just for when we’re down in the dumps. When we are awake, they can help us by inspiring us to succeed and supporting us in seizing possibilities for personal growth. Our family and friends can motivate us to take those chances. This can happen when they encourage us to focus on the positive aspects of these options or when they help us find chances that we may have ignored. Relationship partners can also assist us in better preparing to face these challenges. They can help us establish the strategies and skills we’ll need to achieve our goals, as well as gather the knowledge we’ll need to finish the tasks at hand. If his wife is thinking about going back to school, he might help her look into graduate programs or financial aid.

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