Healthy Relationships

Columbia Internal Medicine

Padma Sripada, MD

Internal Medicine & Medical Spa located in Castleton, NY

Healthy personal relationships can have a positive impact on your overall physical health and your emotional wellness. At Columbia Internal Medicine in Castleton, New York, Padma Sripada, MD, a board-certified internal medicine specialist, provides comprehensive health care that goes beyond conventional medicine. Dr. Sripada treats you as a whole, including taking into consideration how relationships affect your health. Find out if you have healthy relationships in your life, or if negative ones are impacting your well-being. Call the office to schedule.

Healthy Relationships Q & A

How do healthy relationships impact health?

An abundance of scientific evidence indicates that healthy social relationships have a significant impact on your health and wellness. In fact, studies consistently show that people with the lowest level of involvement in social relationships are more likely to die than those with higher involvement. A lack of healthy social relationships can increase your risk of a variety of health problems, including cardiovascular disease, high blood pressure, and atherosclerosis, to name a few.

On the other side of the spectrum, healthy relationships often promote less stress, better healing after illness and injury, and healthier behaviors, such as exercising more and eating a healthier diet. People in healthy relationships often feel a sense of purpose, feelings of being needed, and feeling good that they’re contributing to something bigger than just themselves. Research suggests that being part of healthy relationships can help you live a longer, healthier life.

What are the health benefits of positive relationships?

The benefits of positive relationships are numerous. Friendships, intimate relationships, and familial relationships all have the potential to improve health. Studies show that healthy relationships lead to:

  • Lower instances of anxiety and depression
  • Greater empathy toward others
  • A strong immune system
  • Lower stress levels
  • Lower blood pressure
  • Lower risk of dementia
  • Lower risk of obesity
  • Lower risk of certain cancers
  • Lower risk of stroke

Additionally, having healthy relationships in your life helps meet your inherent desire to be close to other people — to connect and build lasting friendships.

How do healthy relationships lower stress?

A recent study shows that both men and women had higher levels of oxytocin in their blood after hugging each other. Oxytocin is a hormone that helps reduce stress and improve your mood. After just a few seconds of giving someone a hug, you may experience lower levels of cortisol — the stress hormone — and higher levels of oxytocin.

According to research, the simple act of holding someone’s hand, rubbing a shoulder, or touching a loved one’s arm can stimulate hormones in a way that helps you overcome stress and anxiety.

If you’re concerned about how unhealthy relationships are negatively impacting your physical and emotional well-being, Dr. Sripada and the caring team at Columbia Internal Medicine can help. They take a comprehensive approach to healthcare, including helping you forge more positive, healthy relationships in your life. Call the office to book an appointment.