Relationships & Connections Archive


Denial: How it hurts, how it helps, and how to cope

Denial is a natural response at times when you're unable or unwilling to face the facts. As a defense mechanism, it can be helpful or harmful. Here's how to spot it in yourself and others, and how to move from denial toward meaningful change.

Creating communities that help support neurodiverse children

For neurodiverse children and their families, the landscape of friendships and social spaces can feel unwelcoming. Being more inclusive is a positive step, yet it takes more to create communities where everyone feels they belong.

What is somatic therapy?

Trauma can register within our bodies on a cellular level. What that means — and how best to heal from serious traumas — is the focus of somatic therapy, a newer form of mental health counseling that highlights how deeply painful experiences affect us and can be addressed through mind-body approaches.

Lessons learned from COVID

While the COVID pandemic changed how many people approached their health, the experience offers a teachable moment about how people can maintain new and improved healthy habits. Four areas that were most affected by COVID and enabled people to create positive changes are exercise, diet, medical check-ups, and social connections.

Sexual feelings

Feelings of sexual desire change for both men and women as they age. Sometimes the desire is more robust for only one partner, or desires fluctuate so much that partners are rarely in sync. Talking about these changes and exploring different ways to approach this new phase of sex can help both partners find mutual enjoyment.

Even a little socializing is linked to longevity

In a 2023 study of more than 28,000 older adults, those who reported socializing the most frequently lived the longest, compared with people who said they didn't socialize.

IBD and LGBTQ+: How it can affect sexual health

Inflammatory bowel disease, a condition that causes inflammation along the gastrointestinal tract, has a major impact on daily life. For people who identify as LGBTQ+ there are some specific concerns and issues to understand and consider.

Man's best (health) friend

Adopting a dog is one of the best ways for older adults to combat many common health issues. Research has shown that dog owners have lower risks of cardiovascular disease and take more daily steps compared with non-owners. Having a dog also can lower stress levels and help people become more social.

Social challenges such as isolation linked to earlier death

A 2023 study suggests that certain social challenges, such as isolation, may be useful to help predict older adults' risk of earlier death.

Better together: The many benefits of walking with friends

Going for a brisk walk with one or more friends has many health benefits. It's a form of socializing, which is good for thinking skills and helps stave off loneliness, isolation, and many chronic diseases. Walking with others helps people stay accountable and stick to an exercise regimen, and motivates and challenges them to work harder. Plus, it's safer to walk with buddies, who can all watch for hazards and call for help in an emergency.

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