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Avellon Williams 

TRINIDAD AND TOBAGO- People often hear, or assume, that relationships are good for their health, longevity, and life expectancy.

As a general rule, that’s true. However, when a relationship is bad, it’s not so true. There is no doubt that not all relationships are healthy, regardless of whether you are going through a divorce, dealing with difficult parents or children, or having a backstabbing friend. Stress and problems caused by someone in our lives can affect our well-being as well.


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According to a 2007 study, researchers measured relationship quality in 9,000 men and women in the British Civil Service. They surveyed the participants about their relationships and the different negative elements that exist in such relationships. As part of the program, participants had their health closely monitored.

A 34% increase in heart problems was observed among those who reported having “adverse” close relationships, no matter what their weight, social support, or other factors were. Quite a significant increase. Recent research, such as a University of Michigan Study from 2016, argues that “stress and [negative] relationship quality directly affects the cardiovascular system.”

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Among other findings, researchers have found, Social isolation is linked to inflammation and hypertension. The results of a review of 20 years of research, published in 2016, linked social isolation to inflammation, comparing it to inactivity in adolescence.  In the same study, social isolation was found to be a greater risk factor for hypertension than clinical conditions like diabetes. 

Prolonged conflict with other people contributed to lower self-rated health and more health issues, according to a survey of 650 adults conducted over two years. The immune system is adversely affected by any form of stress, whether it’s due to a lousy relationship or a demanding job.


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When your feelings are anger or resentment, suppressing them is unhealthy. Studies have found that couples tend to die younger if their styles of coping with anger differ greatly; the greater the mismatch, the greater the risk of both partners dying early.

It is possible for one partner to be extremely dissatisfied in a relationship, while the other is completely unaware of the problem. This situation will inevitably lead to conflict, but it does not have to end a relationship.

For a relationship to improve and heal, conflict must be resolved effectively. Having conflict that goes unresolved is bad, but botching a resolution is even worse.

Regardless of the relationship, you are in, how you resolve conflict will have an impact. Couples counseling or individual therapy can be very helpful when you’re dealing with extreme conflict.


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It’s good to interact with friends and family. Keeping yourself from loneliness increases your life expectancy and protects your brain, among other benefits.

However, spending time and energy on people who are not as desirable can negatively impact your health. Maximize time spent with friends and family members you enjoy, while minimizing interactions with people whose company is less pleasant and who bring you negativity.

The presence of some negative people is not always avoidable, especially if they are family members. If that is the case, you should use relaxation techniques to deal with the stress caused by these encounters. Take steps to actively manage your interactions with difficult people so that they have a lesser impact on your health and well-being.

Would you stay in a bad relationship if it’s affecting yourHealth? Share your thoughts.

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Avellon Williams

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