Strong Partnerships Can Help Us Avoid Illness

Written for The Healthy Planet by TJ Williams, DC, PhD

February is the month of Valentine’s Day, which brings our focus to relationships with the people in our lives who we care for and love and how we can make those relationships stronger.

The quality of our personal relationships has an enormous impact on our overall health and wellness. Research shows that strong partnerships can help us avoid illness, adopt healthier habits, and even live longer. On the other hand, troubled relationships tend to breed stress and weaken immunity. It is the behaviors we exhibit toward each other and the habits we pass on to each other that determine the effect our relationships have on our overall health. In other words, our closest relationships can make it easier or more difficult to eat a healthy diet, exercise, and get enough sleep, thereby either supporting or undermining our overall wellness.

Relationships also impact how mindful we are about our health. Although it might seem like pestering at times, the watchful eye of a partner, friend, or parents—whether it is pointing out worrisome symptoms or making sure you get a full night’s sleep—seem to foster a healthier lifestyle and closer attention to health problems. People in healthy relationships take care of each other and they may feel more of an obligation to take care of themselves too.

In addition to our relationships affecting our overall health, our health can also have an enormous impact on our relationships. Anyone who has dealt with fibromyalgia, arthritis, or really any chronic or acute health condition, knows that our state of health has a direct and substantial affect on our relationships. Just think about how much more likely you are to fight with your spouse or yell at your kids if you have not gotten enough sleep or have a headache. This effect is magnified substantially when you or someone you love is suffering from a major health issue.

So while you contemplate your closest relationships this February, stop to take a moment and think about your overall state of health and the health of those you care about most. It is important to take the time to talk to your partner, friends, children, parents, and siblings and spend quality time with those you love. However, it is equally important to take care of your physical health and the health of the people you care about most. This will not only strengthen your relationships with your loved ones, but will help ensure you are all around as long as possible to enjoy each other.

Dr. TJ is the Clinical Director of The Institute of Natural Health. Specializing in difficult to diagnose and/or treat conditions as well as wellness optimization, The Institute has something for you. For more information call us at 314-293-8123 or visit

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