It’s healthy for everyone to have some alone-time. Some people need to be alone to recharge. Some people even prefer their own company. Maybe it’s easier to be alone – relationships come with expectations to manage, and who has time for that when you’re busy pursuing your goals? Our Atlanta therapists hear this question sometimes.
As a high achiever, you have probably felt you had to choose between relationships and work.
All relationships can be work, but they also offer benefits.
Relationships Can Reduce Stress
Being in healthy relationship with another person can help reduce the stress hormone cortisol. We know that prolonged production of cortisol can have detrimental effects on the body.
Healthy friendships can also motivate and encourage us to do healthy things that reduce stress. Friendships can keep us accountable in attempts to exercise or eat well, both of which can help in lowering stress levels.
Further, friendships give us opportunities to play, which is important across the lifespan. Play can increase our endorphins which also help reduce stress.
Friendships provide emotional support. They can encourage you when you need it, listen when you’re struggling, help problem solve, and help you remember that you’re not alone when times are tough.
Friendships can also challenge you in positive ways. Have you heard the phrase “Iron sharpens iron?” In order for two pieces of iron to be at their best functioning, each piece needs the other.
You’ve probably achieved great things on your own. But having someone there who is cheering you on, challenging you, and supporting you can make a world of difference.
Sense of Belonging
Our relationships can help promote a sense of purpose and belonging. A sense of belonging can actually be a preventative measure against depression.
Further, research suggests that people in relationships live 20% longer than people who identify as lonely. Friendships and relationships can literally be life-giving!
How Therapy Can Help
Therapy can help you be curious about your “loner” label and work to understand it more deeply. A therapist can help you identify any hurts, disappointments, or relationship wounds that may be motivating you to distance yourself from others.
Maybe you don’t identify as lonely and you prefer to live life more on your own. Perhaps you just see friendships as a distraction or you’re in a busy season of your life where juggling relationships feels overwhelming. Wherever you’re at, our Atlanta therapist who works with high achievers wants to help you function at your best and be as satisfied and healthy as you can. We’d love to help you live life to the fullest.