Your mental health has a great impact on your ability to form and maintain relationships, whether it be with a spouse, parent, child, or friend.
Here are five tips tips on building and maintaining healthy relationships:
1) Don’t sweat the small stuff. Sometimes, we lose the ability to celebrate our victories by often focusing only on our faults and failures. Always make an attempt to look at the bigger picture, including the things you are doing well in!
2) Accept and celebrate differences. One of the biggest challenges we experience in relationships is that we are all different. Coming from different backgrounds and being exposed to different things in life, sometimes can lead us to expectations that people will think like we do and, in this way, it is so much easier to create a rapport. Life would be so much easier if everyone totally understood where we were coming from. However, it would also be very dull if we were all the same and, while we may find it initially easier, the novelty of sameness soon would wear off. So accepting and celebrating that we are all different is a great starting point.
3) Express Yourself. Express your feelings; I cannot stress this enough! Keeping your feelings inside (whether good or bad) is never a great idea. Talk it out, release your thoughts, worries, and concerns. Holding your emotions in will eventually cause bad feelings to accumulate and further damage your relationships. Communication occurs when someone understands you, not just when you speak. One of the biggest dangers with communication is that we can work on the assumption that the other person has understood the message we are trying to get across. Developing effective communication skills is vital in maintaining relationships that are important to us.
4) Develop empathy. Empathy and understanding build a connection between people. It is a state of perceiving and relating to another person’s feelings and needs without blaming, giving advice or trying to fix the situation.
5) Sometimes, being present is all that is required. Being present in the time you give to people is also important, so that, when you are with someone, make every attempt to truly be with them and not dwelling in the past or worrying about the future. This may also require stepping away from technology and putting our phones aside.