A recent web article from Inc.com references a 75-year old study conducted by Harvard that provides one of the longest longitudinal studies on emotional well-being. The key finding was not that surprising from my perspective: “Good relationships keep us happier and healthier.”
The challenge, of course, is to make time for those relationships that make us happier and healthier and not the ones that are stressful or negative. As a Western culture we are so focused on accomplishment that we sometimes forget to err on the side of connecting. We are so busy getting ahead of the Joneses that we neglect ourselves and our relationship with the Joneses.
The study showed that if you have meaningful relationships it helps your nervous system to relax which keeps you healthier both physically and mentally. Those people who are lonely are more likely to die young and/or have health problems. So whether you are in a committed relationship or not, it is the quality of the relationship that counts. This is not a numbers game. You may have 1,000 friends on Facebook, but if you can’t count on anyone and they can’t count on you, you’re in danger of poor mental and physical health.
The other component to maintaining good relationships is how you respond to the challenges that life sends your way. If you have a good relationship, but experience some trauma like a death in the family and don’t allow people to connect with you during that time, then you risk your physical and mental health as well. Ultimately, everyone needs to make personal growth a priority.
Prioritization in a world full of work, social, and personal demands is a challenge for anyone. Countless personal development books have been written about the topic. I have spoken with numerous Holistic Management practitioners about how Holistic Management has helped them. Consistently they have told me that having a Holistic Goal has helped them prioritize their time and what they choose to spend their money on so they can live their values. They also say that the decision questions help them quickly determine what is important information to consider and what isn’t important–critical analysis skills in this age of information overload. They have experienced reduced stress, less decision anxiety, and improved quality of life.
Holistic Management is a simple value-based decision-making process that helps you think holistically. If you’d like to learn how to prioritize your life with Holistic Management and learn how to make value-based decisions, check out At Home with Holistic Management: Creating a Life of Meaning.
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