Relationships support our quality of life and contribute to our whole health. Relationships can affect our emotional, mental, and physical health and well-being. Connections to family, friends, community, and even animals can help reduce stress and improve physical and emotional well-being.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, “People’s relationships and interactions with family, friends, co-workers and community members can have a major impact on their health and well-being.” Various factors play a part in well-being, including conditions in which we live, having a culturally supportive environment, and our access to healthy social outlets.

Research shows social connection is important to emotional health. When we develop and maintain healthy relationships, there is a tendency to feel better, connect more openly and cope with stressors. Positive relationships can be a support for those recovering from a natural disaster, coping with a health condition or grieving loss.

Being mindful supports healthy connections

Mindful interactions also support social well-being. Taking steps to minimize multi-tasking and technology distractions can support quality social interactions. Participating mindfully in a family gathering or group setting helps us to connect with others. A family dinner, summer picnic or group exercise are opportunities to practice being fully present.

Join me for a 5-minute appreciation practice that will help you to connect with your own surroundings and social relationships:

Ways you can create community

We can also be engaged with others as we participate in movement activities, such as yoga, fitness classes or walking. These activities can provide a shared space of presence and contribute to social well-being.

For Veterans, Whole Health movement groups may be available at your VA health care facility.

For caregivers, there are free, monthly one-hour telephone education calls that can offer support and information. Caregivers who are unable to attend the calls can access presentations online at www.caregiver.va.gov/support-line/presentations.asp.

By Tosha Ellis, Ph.D, LCSW, BCD

Field Implementation Team Consultant with the Office of Patient Centered Care & Cultural Transformation

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Published on Aug. 29, 2022

Estimated reading time is 1.6 min.

Views to date: 3,745

5 Comments

  1. Robert Randall III September 1, 2022 at 11:15 am - Reply

    I went to a family activities and you have people joking of my situation(commits like this he went over seas and got a hold of those drugs) that’s why he crazy commits like that make me want to do somethings to them, that’s why i stay to my self. i’ have been married twice and devoice twice do to my situation at hand and can’t get along we people because that want to find out to much of you why I’m like this and you try to talk about it to them they have a solution, but it is there solution not your, and they get very aggressive with it because the think that it’s about drugs it keep coming back to drugs, so i distant my self, can’t sleep do to thing that i have seen keep coming up sleep 4 hrs a night best to stay away from people children’s stay away ex-wife’s talk bad about you around the kids to up set you. i’m just here by my self waiting some good to happen. know more word

  2. Sue August 31, 2022 at 8:38 pm - Reply

    Since Whole Health has taken over pool therapy and Tai Chi at the Vancouver WA (VAMC Portland, OR), they have stopped all pool therapy and not renewed the contract with the local pool, and Tai Chi is only online. How are either of these choices good for aging veterans who need pool therapy for arthritis and depend on classes like Tai Chi for social interaction? It was better when PT ran these aspects of VA care.

  3. John C Molina August 31, 2022 at 1:41 pm - Reply

    I have greatly enjoyed my interaction and the suggestions given to me by your whole health consultant Jan Corbett.

    I have attempted to volunteer for both the local VA Clinic in Tavares and also the Lake Nona and Baldwin hospitals. As a retired Army Chaplain with much deployment and combat experience I believe that my pastoral counseling experience and training would be a great asset to the VA.
    However, as a conscientious individual I decided no to receive the COVID vaccines or the boosters. I have a healthy immune system which has kept me from getting COVID during this pandemic though very active for the last few years. I was told I could not volunteer and the possible only option would be through virtual meeting. This being the case, how could we make it happen. Thanks for listening.

    John

  4. Joseph Martin August 31, 2022 at 9:34 am - Reply

    Please People and Veterans who read this can you please email your Senators or Representative asked them to contact the the Veteran Affairs Committee passed a new Disabled Veterans who who 100percent had Dentist that knows how to put in G4implants for free because they don’t have one work for a Veteran Medical Centers Dentistry or have a contract with a Veteran Affairs Administration and if a Disabled Veterans who is 100percent service connected needs don’t get the G4implants it will definitely cause a Swallowing Problems and a Gum problem and a Heart Failure and really bad Depression especially if a Disabled Veterans who is 100percent service connected has a Mental Illness it make the Depression worse than ever.

  5. Sean Collins August 30, 2022 at 3:46 pm - Reply

    Great video…very relaxing.

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