Social support in life.
It’s helpful to have people in your life who can offer their expertise to help you out. This might mean being a good listener, a wise life advisor, being handy with fix-it stuff around the house or being an expert negotiator (which can be extremely handy when you need to buy a new car). All of these types of support improve your quality of life.
Help in becoming the person you want to be.
You want to be will support you in a way that helps you become that person. Because your partner’s response to you can help shape the person you become, We know that parents have a similar effect on their young children. And, it seems reasonable that other emotionally intimate relationships can also have the same kind of effect.
A ready opportunity to be caring toward others.
You don’t need a scientific study to tell you that being altruistic can make you feel happy and view yourself in a positive light, though such studies certainly, do exist to support this claim. Studies also show that altruism creates a sense of calm and reduces stress.
A sense of being part of something bigger than yourself.
People have an inborn need to feel a sense of belonging. And, when people meet this need, they gain a sense of well-being. As part of a network of friends or a more formalized group, you can meet this need.
Social relationships relieve stress through the many ways in which they are a support and help people to feel good. Although feeling less stressed is positive in itself, reducing stress is also important because stress can cause problems with coronary arteries, insulin regulation, and the immune system.
Not only do people’s relationships have a direct positive effect on people’s health (such as with stress reduction), they also influence people’s health behaviours. For instance, spouses and other loved ones often actively encourage exercising, eating a healthy diet, and following up with medical issues. So, not surprisingly, people with emotional support tend to recover better and be less susceptible to illness or disease than those who are more alone.