Please DO NOT DELETE this page.

Blog //
  • Wellbeing
//

How relationships affect our health

19 June, 2017
Family improves health

Meaningful relationships not only improve your mental wellbeing, they can also have a positive impact on your physical health.

Benefits of healthy relationships

Healthy relationships are those that are based on respect, care, trust and equality. When we have relationships like these in our lives, it can have beneficial impact on our health. People who have positive relationships are more likely to feel satisfied and happy and less likely to experience physical and mental health problems. Healthy relationships can also help with our feelings of self-worth, self-confidence and our sense of belonging. If we don’t have positive relationships in our lives, we may feel a sense of loneliness or isolation.

Loneliness and your health

Lifeline Australia defines loneliness as a feeling of sadness or distress about being by yourself or disconnection from the world around you. While most people will experience loneliness at some point in their lives, long periods of loneliness and isolation can have a serious impact on your physical and mental health.

According to Relationships Australia, one in 10 Australians over the age of 15 report lacking social support, and according to the Australian Psychological Society, one in four Australians report they are currently experiencing an episode of loneliness. Fifty one per cent of Australians also report feeling lonely for at least one day each week.

According to Lifeline Australia, loneliness and isolation can lead to the following symptoms:

  • aches, pains, headaches
  • low energy and tiredness
  • sleeping difficulties
  • weight gain or weight loss
  • increase in alcohol or drug intake
  • increase in risk of depression, anxiety and panic attacks
  • feelings of worthlessness or hopelessness

Building healthy relationships and connecting with your community can help with feelings of isolation and loneliness.

Building healthy relationships

Healthy relationships take time and energy to build and maintain. Healthdirect Australia list the following tips for building and maintaining healthy relationships:

  • clearly communicate your needs and what type of relationship you want
  • say sorry when you’re wrong
  • show affection and appreciation
  • make the relationship a priority in your life
  • find hobbies that you both enjoy
  • work on feeling good about yourself
  • find solutions that work for both of you
  • make plans for the future

Regularly listening to each other and demonstrating respect and care are vital to building positive relationships.

Healthdirect have the following tips for encouraging more open communication in your relationships:

  • set aside time to speak to each other, without interruptions
  • put yourself in the other person’s shoes
  • don’t rely on the other person to guess what is going on, or how you are feeling
  • listen to each other, and make sure the other person knows you are listening to them
  • let the other person finish what they are saying
  • talk about things honestly and respectfully
  • try not to be too defensive
  • stay calm and try not to attack

Recognising unhealthy relationships

Just as positive relationships can support your health, unhealthy or abusive relationships can have a destructive impact on your physical and mental wellbeing.  

Signs of an abusive relationship

It’s not always easy to see the signs of abuse in a relationship and it’s common for the person experiencing abuse to think it’s somehow their fault or that they deserve it.

Abuse and violence can happen to anyone, but they are never okay. You have the right to feel safe in your relationships and if you’re experiencing violence or abuse, there are support services available. Abuse and violence can happen in any relationship, not just romantic relationships.

ReachOut Australia outline the following signs of an abusive relationship:

  • possessiveness
  • jealousy
  • put-downs
  • threats
  • physical and sexual violence

Abuse can also come in many forms including:

  • verbal
  • psychological
  • financial
  • physical
  • sexual
  • image-based
  • legal

You can read more about the different types of abuse and violence at the National Sexual Assault and Domestic and Family Violence Counselling Service.

Getting support

If you’re experiencing abuse or feel you are at risk of abuse, call 1800RESPECT (1800 737 732) or contact them through online chat. This is the National Sexual Assault and Domestic and Family Violence Counselling Service and is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

If you’re experiencing violence in a relationship, you should take it very seriously and seek help. If you feel unsafe or in danger, contact the police (000). You can also call 1800 RESPECT (1800 737 732) for counselling support.  

Where to get more help

If you or someone close to you needs help now, there are phonelines and websites available.

For immediate help in a crisis:

For general mental health support:

For help with relationship problems:

Sources

https://www.health.harvard.edu/newsletter_article/the-health-benefits-of-strong-relationships

https://www.mentalhealth.org.uk/publications/relationships-21st-century-forgotten-foundation-mental-health-and-wellbeing

https://www.healthdirect.gov.au/building-healthy-relationships

https://www.health.harvard.edu/mental-health/can-relationships-boost-longevity-and-well-being

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4725506/

https://www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au/health/HealthyLiving/Strong-relationships-strong-health

https://www.lifeline.org.au/get-help/topics/loneliness-isolation

https://www.1800respect.org.au/violence-and-abuse/

https://au.reachout.com/articles/signs-of-an-abusive-relationship

https://researchbank.swinburne.edu.au/items/c1d9cd16-ddbe-417f-bbc4-3d499e95bdec/1/

https://www.relationships.org.au/what-we-do/research/is-australia-experiencing-an-epidemic-of-loneliness

All information contained in this article is intended for general information purposes only. The information provided should not be relied upon as medical advice and does not supersede or replace a consultation with a suitably qualified healthcare professional.

1911_CBHS Skyscraper Banner-07

Suggested Articles

  • A man using app

    Dietitian Nina on the benefits of tracking what you eat

    Nina Oljaca, accredited practicing dietitian, shares her insights on the benefits of tracking what you eat and how they go beyond weight loss.
    • Nutrition
    2 June 2020
  • A home-school survival guide from CBHS Wellness Consultant, Julia

    A home-school survival guide from CBHS Wellness Consultant, Julia

    Practical ideas to keep the whole family engaged, focused and thriving throughout these times of COVID-19 home-schooling.
    • Wellbeing
    28 May 2020
  • An image of nutrient-rich vegetarian Mexican bow

    Mexican in a bowl

    If you can’t go out for Mexican, make it at home! This nutrient-rich vegetarian Mexican bowl is a quick and easy dinner.
    • Nutrition
    19 May 2020
  • Private Hospital Benefits at Healthscope Group Hospitals

    Private Hospital Benefits at Healthscope Group Hospitals

    CBHS has agreements with over 500 private hospitals across Australia including the Healthscope Group of Hospitals (Healthscope).
    • Membership
    18 May 2020

What Our Members Think

I joined as a CBHS member in 1978. Through many health events and challenges CBHS has always been there for me and my family. Their exceptional service over this time has always been appreciated.

- Jenny J

What Our Members Think

I've not long joined CBHS from another fund, but so far I've been impressed by the super helpful and friendly staff, the higher claim limits and rebates at a very competitive premium, and how easy it is to lodge manual claims through the app. Thanks CBHS - you've won me over! 😃

- Jessica B

What Our Members Think

What I love about CBHS is their customer service - friendly staff and always ready to help and email you the information you ask about. Keep up the great work!!!

- Linda S

What Our Members Think

I love CBHS as its so so easy to lodge a claim and whenever i need a question answered friendly consultant is one phone call away. The phone back option instead of waiting is brilliant!

- Rachel N

What Our Members Think

I have been with CBHS since I began at CBA 15 years ago...Now I have three beautiful children, one who has a disability. Our top extras cover has been really essential for his early intervention. I do love the ease of claiming online.

- Annette E

What Our Members Think

I am relatively new to CBHS and am loving it already. I worked for a CBA subsidiary a long time ago but was still eligible to join. So much better that the for-profit funds - our premium is only a little more and we pay a lower co-contribution and get great benefits. I am loving the massage rebate for my partner and gym rebate for me!

- David G

What Our Members Think

I'm extremely happy with CBHS! I have been a customer for about six years. I think the price is reasonable. And i would refer you to my family and friends any day. Thank you CBHS!!!

- Karen W

What Our Members Think

Love CBHS as I never have to doubt that they've got my back when I need it. Been through other insurers who have limited options or limits, yet cost the same or more.

- Mark F

Prev
Next