Friday, November 13, 2009

Interpersonal Relationships

Over the past few weeks, we've been taking a look at the steps to health found in the acronym C.R.E.A.T.I.O.N. Health. Do you remember what they are? Let's review: C is for choice, R is for rest, E is for environment, T is for Trust in God. We're down now to the I in Creation, which stands for Interpersonal Relationships. As with all the other factors, relationships also have a profound impact on our health.

According to Dr. Shelton Cohen at Carnegie Mellon University, the more friends you have, the less likely you are to get a cold. Also, if you have lots of social contacts, the duration and severity of a cold will be lessened, according to the authors of C.R.E.A.T.I.O.N. Health Discovery. The authors also cite other studies that show the relationship of social contact to health and longevity. A researcher at Stanford University, Dr. David Spiegel, "found that women with breast cancer who participate in psychosocial support groups live longer than breast cancer patients who do not." Another researcher, Dr. James House, who reviewed an extensive body of literature, concluded that social isolation increases your risk of dying from all causes.

When we're faced with illness or crisis, having a good system of social support can help us through the bleakest of situations. Whether it's with friends, family, neighbors or members of our community or church, seeking healthy relationships can be healing, for us, and for those around us. Here are some simple ideas to get started: Why not offer to run an errand for a house-bound neighbor? Or surprise a sick friend with a basket of herbal tea and a mug. Get involved with community services at your church or donate time and/or goods to a local food bank. The opportunities for reaching out to others are limited only by your imagination. Make a decided effort today to strengthen your relationship with those around you and to be a blessing in others' lives. You (and those whose lives you touch) will be glad you did!

The Wellness Lady

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