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Investing in your relationship

Published on February 14, 2017

Investing in your relationship

Joni Steffens, CNM, APRN, CSC
Sexual Medicine Clinic Director

Investing in your relationshipKale. Meditation. Kombucha. HIIT. Sleep. Smile. Yoga. Water. What’s on your list for optimal health, wellbeing and longevity?

I’m here to campaign for a place for connection on your 2017 Must Do list.

Why? Creating and caring for strong relationships reduces the risk of premature death by 50 percent. The benefits are equivalent to quitting smoking, losing weight and physical activity. Those in long-term relationships are happier, experience higher levels of life satisfaction, and are less likely to have depression.

Need another reason?

More sex. Better sex.

Before you breath a sigh of relief, thinking “I got this” — you aren’t getting by just being with someone. Creating a self-sustaining, strong, nurturing relationship takes focus and intention. It takes time, energy, showing up and taking risks.

It is so easy to become complacent, to get caught up in careers, kids and caring for family. You pass some magical milestone and think…we have reached the top! Check. Done. You naively believe the other person always will be there. Better or worse right? How many of us put the cruise control on and suddenly realize we ended up somewhere we did not intend?

Relationship stress and conflict is worse than going solo through life. Interpersonal rifts increase cardiovascular risks, adversely effects endocrine and hormonal functioning and reduce immune system functioning. No amount of handwashing is going to fix an unhealthy relationship.

The health and well being of your relationship requires growth. Without it, boredom and stagnation brew.

How much time does it take to keep a relationship on track? John Gottman, researcher and author of the “Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work” says it takes about five extra hours a week to stay connected.

Strong relationships are good. Strong relationships are hard. But every one of us is wired for connection.

Are you ready to make your connections count? Are you ready to sign up for less stress, more pleasure, better health and a longer life?

Health information accessed through www.centracare.com is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. We strive to present reliable, up-to-date health information on our web site and “For the Health of It” blog. However, this information is not intended for the purpose of diagnosing or prescribing. Please contact your health care provider if you have any concerns or questions about specific content that may affect your health. Log in to MyChart to send a secure message to your provider.

About the Author

Joni Steffens, CNM

Joni Steffens, APRN, CSC
Program Director
Gender Medicine, Sexual Medicine
Learn more about Joni

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