Whether you consider yourself a social butterfly or someone who prefers one-on-one interactions, the quality of your personal relationships affects not only your level of happiness but also your overall health and well-being. According to clinical research by the US National Academy of Sciences, individuals who have better social connectedness have lower risks of physiological stress and tend to be happier and live longer than people who are isolated.
AXA Philippines, one of the country’s leading insurance providers, is a financial institution that helps Filipinos protect their health while securing a better future for their loved ones. The company shares these tips and insights on why relationships are vital for one’s physical and mental health:
You become physically healthier. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), your health is connected to how you bond with your friends and partners, and even the dynamics of your marriage and family. A study found that connecting with others helps relieve harmful levels of stress, and, in turn, decreases negative complications of the coronary arteries, improves gut function, insulin regulation, and strengthens the immune system. If you’re looking to build more social connections for better health, spending time with others can be a great place to start.
It improves your mental wellbeing. The WHO defines depression as a result of a complex interaction of social, psychological, and biological factors that can lead to stress and dysfunction. When you’re depressed, the tendency is to withdraw and isolate to the point that connecting to even close family and friends can be tough. According to the AXA 2022 Mind Health and Wellbeing study, which covered 11 markets in Europe and Asia, social connectedness tends to promote health in all ages. Connectedness is also one of the 10 skills needed to be in the state of ‘flourishing,’ or being at the peak of mental health. You can help manage the onset feelings of depression by surrounding yourself with supportive people who remind you that you are not alone and that you are loved.
It boosts your self-confidence and sense of belonging. No matter what unites you with your group of friends or your partner, feeling like you belong to a group can be highly beneficial. Research published by the American Psychological Association concluded that a person’s social relationships influence their self-esteem development and vice versa. A sense of belonging also fulfills an important emotional health need and helps reduce feelings of depression and hopelessness, especially during times like the pandemic when most people are isolated from their loved ones. To improve your sense of belonging, put in the effort to join activities and groups of people with whom you share common interests like volunteering in a social group that supports a worthy cause or a hobby you enjoy.
Human relationships are indeed crucial as they provide a nurturing environment that can help prevent health issues and chronic illnesses. To further help protect your health and wellbeing, AXA Philippines offers Health Care Access, a comprehensive and affordable health care plan for hospitalization and medical needs. This package can also come with a Critical Illness Booster for additional cash benefit for the treatment of 56 critical illnesses, a Longevity Health Fund that you can tap for medical needs at age 76 and up, as well as life and accident coverage up to P500,000. Moreover, you can personalize your plan by adding outpatient care, optical care, or dental care benefits to the plan.
To know more about AXA Health Care Access, visit https://www.axa.com.ph/health-protection/health-care-access.