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How Relationships Influence Your Health

How Relationships Influence Your Health

Download Sharecare to see how your loved ones may be helping—or hurting—your health.

The quality of your relationships and social interactions with your spouse, family and friends can have a major impact on your overall health—both positively and negatively.

On one hand, a good relationship promotes health and longevity by reducing stress levels, motivating you to maintain healthy habits and even boost your longevity by a whopping 50 percent. Alternately, a bad relationship can increase stress levels, which may strain the cardiovascular, nervous, digestive and endocrine systems. Poor relationships can also weaken immunity and worsen symptoms of anxiety and depression.

So, how can you maintain positive relationships with the people closest to you? Take steps to:    

  • Try to understand your partner, family and friends. Sometimes, it can be hard to understand how or why a loved one is reacting to a certain situation or conflict—especially if you don’t agree with them. But try to take a step back, broaden your scope and understand the story from their perspective.
  • Listen and communicate. If your spouse, family member or friend is going through a hard time (or just needs a vent session) one of the best things you can do is simply be present and listen—without being critical.
  • Forgive and accept forgiveness. It can be hard to forgive someone—and harder to ask for forgiveness yourself. Being open and honest is key to maintaining a healthy relationship, even if vulnerability may be uncomfortable sometimes.
  • Support your loved ones. Celebrate your loved ones’ achievements the same way you’d celebrate your own—with sincerity, enthusiasm and excitement.

Another simple way to improve your relationships is by monitoring and recording how they make you feel each day. If you’re getting into frequent arguments with your spouse, for example, take a moment to assess the situation: What’s sparking these arguments? Are there external factors at play? How can you begin to resolve these issues? Understanding the causes, effects and possible resolutions for conflicts can help strengthen your communication and relationship.

Sharecare, available for iOS and Android, can help you analyze and improve your relationships by developing detailed reports on your stress levels during phone conversations. The app will never listen to or record your calls—it simply records and analyzes the stress fractals in your voice. You can use your results to identify the factors that may be harming your relationships and take steps towards healthier, more open communications.

Here’s how it works:

For Android users:

  • Generate a relationship stress analysis by making a phone call that lasts at least 30 seconds. Sharecare will analyze your voice and report back on your stress levels. The app does not listen to your calls—it just listens to the fractals in your voice.
  • You can track relationships manually via the Tracker.

For iOS users:

  • Activate your phone’s microphone and speak for at least 30 seconds to generate a voice analysis. Sharecare will analyze your voice and generate a response, detailing how stressed you are (or aren’t). The app does not listen to your calls—it just listens to the fractals in your voice.
  • You can track stress manually by sliding the scale to your perceived stress level or manually via the Tracker.

For desktop users:

  • If you don’t have a mobile device, relationships can be tracked manually via the desktop Tracker.
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