By Thatiana Diaz
August 01, 2016 07:32 PM
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When thinking about the relationships you have in your life, you probably don’t assume that your health could be in danger. Often we prioritize the relationships we have with others over our own well-being leading to exhaustion and weakness. In time, these negative side effects turn into physical illness. In a study, researchers discovered that those in negative relationships were at a greater risk for developing heart problems. 

In order to create harmony between relationships and your health, we spoke to psychologist Dr. Carmen Harra and certified life coach Alexandra Harra, and they shared their advice on mastering a healthy balance:

Understand the connection

“Personal well-being affects your external relationships: when you feel good, you’re more likely to treat your partner with patience, acceptance, and kindness. But when your health suffers, so will your love life. If you’re out of shape, for example, you may act insecurely and place unnecessary strain on your relationship. Or if you’re battling an illness, you may become so frustrated that you lash out at your undeserving partner. But the theory works more powerfully in reverse: relationships are a key component in the quality of your health. That’s because the emotions they evoke have a tremendous impact on your mental and physical welfare. Feelings of stress, anxiety, anger, and depression can bring on a host of physical diseases like cancers and autoimmune disorders. In addition, you may turn to self-destructive behaviors like drugs, alcohol, or binge eating as coping mechanisms for failing relationships. Once you understand the irrevocable link between your relationships and your health, you will want to practice impeccable care to balance both.”

Take nothing personally

“We experience negative emotions because the actions of others impact us adversely. We may feel betrayed, hurt, abandoned, disappointed, or all of the above. But the truth is that the people who hurt you are dealing with their own deep-seated issues that you know nothing about. The cheater doesn’t cheat because there’s something wrong with you—he or she is fighting inner turmoil. For this reason, you must take nothing personally. Whenever someone does something wrong to you, recognize the real origins of the behavior: that person is obviously damaged and reacts by damaging others. Know that you have done nothing to deserve to be mistreated.”

Process your emotions 

“If you hide from certain negative emotions, you bury them deep within your subconscious. There, they brew in intensity until one day you find yourself suddenly losing your temper or exploding over a trivial matter. Emotions that remain unprocessed grow like weeds. Don’t be afraid to feel “bad;” feel pain, rage, confusion, and resentment in their deepest forms. Feel these feelings until you process them completely and wear out their effects. Experience them as you would feel any other positive emotion. Then, you can move forward to regain emotional stability.”

Perform grounding rituals

“We encourage you to recenter yourself whenever relationship problems resurface. Don’t let yourself feel overwhelmed, tired, or stressed for too long, or your immune system may collapse. Find your peaceful place and retreat to it once you start to feel unwell. First, pick a place that makes you feel comfortable and at ease: your home, a park, a lake, etc. Whenever possible, visit this place to recharge and unwind. Close your eyes and meditate, allowing your thoughts to come and leave your mind freely. Or, engage in physical movement, which produces plenty of “feel good” hormones in the brain. Don’t dwell on your problems with others. Instead, pray for them to be resolved and take comfort in knowing that they will be.”

Detach from what harms you

“At the end of the day, your health should be your priority—if you don’t have that, you can’t enjoy your relationships. If someone constantly invokes feelings of doubt, sadness, or fear in you, we advise you to let go of this person for your own sake. If you stubbornly hold on, you’ll only feel worse. Detach from anything and anyone that harms you and tend to your own wellness. Forgive the people who tore down your inner power; they didn’t know any better. The only way to build your strength back up is to do everything that brings you mental, emotional, and physical tranquility. In short, do everything that brings you joy; this will also bring you better health and much better relationships.”