Skip to main content

Natural Awakenings Tucson

Enlightened Relationships

Holly Baker

"How do I love thee? Let me count the ways.” That Shakespeare was onto something, but he might just as well have written, “Why do I love thee?” We are hardwired for human connection from birth, and when we cultivate good relationships, the rewards are immense. But we’re not necessarily talking about romance here. 

It seems that according to Harry Reis, Ph.D., co-editor of the Encyclopedia of Human Relationships, the hot and heavy rollercoaster of dating can actually produce more stress than it’s worth. He says, “There is evidence that people who participate in satisfying, long-term relationships fare better on a whole variety of health measures.” 

These benefits include fewer doctor’s visits, less depression and substance abuse, lower blood pressure, less anxiety, natural pain control, better stress management, fewer colds, faster healing, longer life and a happier life. Don’t agree? Well, he’s the expert. C’est la vie! 

By the way, I found a study in the Journal of Family Psychology that shows happiness depends more on the quality of family relationships than on the level of income. So there we have scientific evidence that the power of love trumps the love of money. Statistics don’t lie. 

For our relationship issue, we’ve lined up some great reading to spotlight your love light, including “Happily Coupled: Creating Loving Relationships that Thrive,” by Judith Fertig, and “Conscious Dating: Jill Crosby on Looking for Love Online,” by our National Editor S. Alison Chabonais. Crosby is the founder of the Conscious Dating Network, and we asked her the question we thought our readers would ask about—not just making connections on the Internet, but maintaining a spiritual element, too. 

Not to change the subject, but does your neck hurt sometimes? In our story, “Physical Therapy Can Help with Neck Pain,” Dr. Noah Abrams describes a non-invasive way to get rid of it—a 30-second self-test is the first step. 

I think it’s safe to say that our fireplaces get a pretty good workout in the wintertime; I love sitting next to the flames and getting toasty on a chilly evening. But like most things, there’s a wrong way and a right way—or should I say a more eco-conscious way—to do it. Get the skinny on great techniques and best practices with this month’s Eco-Tip. 

I hope at least a few of your New Year’s resolutions are still intact—I’m certainly trying my best. Best of luck to all our wonderful readers, because we are truly all in this together.

~ Holly