Can Having Better Relationships Enhance Your Mental Health?

Two women laughing

It is important to maintain strong relationships with people, but just how important?

The United Kingdom appointed a Minister for Loneliness to address the finding that nine million British people often or always feel lonely. To some, this may come as a surprise. It should not.

Loneliness and social isolation are on the rise, leading many to call it an epidemic.


In recent decades, the number of people with zero confidants has tripled, and most adults do not belong to a local community group. Consequently, more than one third of Americans over the age of 45 report feeling lonely, with prevalence especially high among those under 25 and over 65 years old.

While this alarming trend has grown, so has understanding of its impact. By now, the evidence is abundant and decisive: social connection significantly affects health. When you believe that you have people in your life who care about you, and you interact with them regularly, you are better off. For instance, you may be less likely to catch a cold, slip into early cognitive decline, and develop depression.

What Does Research Tell Us?

A study at Harvard University that followed hundreds of people for 75 years identified the quality of people’s relationships as the single clearest predictor of their physical health, longevity, and quality of life.

Limbic System + Loneliness

Do you know people who see every situation in a bad light? Or someone who struggles with feelings of sadness, loneliness, lack of motivation, or hopelessness? If so, they could be experiencing troubles with the functioning of the limbic system in their brain.

The limbic system, also called the emotional brain, lies near the center of the brain. Considering its size – about that of a walnut – it is packed with functions critical for human behavior and survival. The limbic system processes our sense of smell, stores highly charged emotional memories, and affects sleep and appetite cycles, moods, sexuality, and bonding.

What Can You Do?

It has been shown that enhancing emotional bonds between people will help heal the limbic system. How you get along with other people can either help or hurt your limbic system! The better you get along with those around you, the better you will feel.

We Can Help

You CAN change your brain, and change your life. At Amen Clinics, we want to help you. Call us today at 888-288-9834 or visit here to schedule an appointment.


  1. Excellent article…but what to do about I?

    Comment by Rebecca Johnston — February 16, 2018 @ 5:39 AM

  2. I recently discovered dried mold in my heating and air system. (In my returns)Also within the same timeframe my face has developed wrinkle suddenly. I’ve only been in this house a year and a half.

    Comment by Kathy Hines — February 16, 2018 @ 5:46 AM

  3. After reading this, I’m left with the same question you asked…”What (specifically) CAN I do…to enhance emotional bonds with my adult daughter (patient at Amen clinics)? Have any tips?

    Comment by Michael Steelman, MD — February 16, 2018 @ 6:55 AM

  4. HI I grew up with mold my our home. I have cleared it out of my system. If you own your home find someone (interview them well!) to know if they know what to do to get rid of it! It’s toxic and many will tell you that it’s dry behind walks “IT”S OK”!!! not!
    I am a Health Coach and Holistic Chef if you would like some help email me at or my cell is 612-298-4610.

    Comment by Laurie Nathe — February 16, 2018 @ 11:36 AM

  5. DO you live close by? Can you take a class together? Go on a trip, sit and have a conversation with her that you would like a closer relationship.

    Comment by Laurie Nathe — February 16, 2018 @ 11:37 AM

  6. Nephew, 46, exposed to black mold when digging around the foundation of their house.
    He has not been feeling well. He lives in South Carolina. Where are you located?
    JoAnn Prosser

    Comment by JoAnn Prooser — February 16, 2018 @ 4:33 PM

  7. My wife and I have not had sex since my depression started 2 years ago. I miss the closeness very much, but it’s a taboo subject which is never talked about :(… I very much miss the close bonding connection.
    How do I improve on this predicament?

    Comment by Don P — February 17, 2018 @ 5:41 AM

  8. Can proper or improper functioning of limbic system be determined from a SPECT exam?

    Comment by Clayton Hubbard — February 17, 2018 @ 7:13 AM

  9. Don, the only thing to do is stop letting it be a taboo subject. Otherwise your marriage is dying a slow painful death from neglect. Start by saying to her exactly what you said here. Don’t wait. Break the barrier of silence.

    Comment by Jennifer — February 18, 2018 @ 11:49 AM

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