Relationships and Communication

There are many health benefits to having high quality social relationships: increased longevity, greater survival rates after a heart attack, less depression, lower cancer recurrence rates, less dementia and fewer infections.  Having supportive relationships means being able to communicate effectively, not only to speak your mind, but to truly listen to others.

Listening Skills

Be Present - give them time and space to speak

Be concerned about their opinions and feelings - let them talk through the issue without interrupting

Reflect, paraphrase and ask clarifying questions

Use attentive body language -  eye contact, nodding occasionally, leaning toward them

Strategies for Healthy Relationships 

(from Duke Integrative Medicine)

Have a variety of social outlets.

Have at least one or two close friends.

Nurture relationships support and energize you.

Think about the impact of your relationships on other areas of your life.