Mental health should not be taken for granted. It is important to take good care of the wellbeing of one’s mind in order to live a happier and healthier life.
One of the things that can affect mental health, for good or bad, is the kind of relationships you have. Delving deeper into this is definitely worth your time.
How Relationships Affect Mental Health
The state of your relationships will affect your mental health in many different positive and negative ways.
An intimate romantic relationship can lessen the stress of both partners and minimize depression and anxiety. Similarly, a loving family or a supportive group of friends can help alleviate feelings of loneliness and depression. Good relationships help boost self-esteem and confidence as well.
Strong relationships basically mean stronger overall health for both physical and mental states. If you are surrounded by people whom you can trust and those who care for you and respect your thoughts and feelings, then you are likely to have a better foundation of support for facing the challenges in life.
On the contrary, if the relationships you’ve formed with the people around you are not healthy and fulfilling, then there is a higher risk of feeling isolated and succumbing to anxious and depressive thoughts. Extreme loneliness can also lead to physical manifestations such as not being able to sleep and eat properly, which can further impact your overall health negatively.
According to recent studies, negative social connections increase the risk of mental health problems and behavioral difficulties. That is why it becomes exceedingly crucial to assess the relationships you have built in life and learn to nurture positive and strong connections. This will help you better take care of your mental wellbeing and improve the quality of your life.
How to Foster Strong Relationships
(image source: Pexels)
Developing relationships is never straightforward, but it is worth the effort to cultivate solid and fulfilling connections for the betterment of your mental health.
Here are some tips that can help you foster relationships that can help make you happy.
Learn to Listen
Listening is considered the “silent form of flattery”. By carefully listening to someone without being judgmental, you show that you care. This can make the other party feel supported and even relieved. This can also help you better understand the person you are speaking with, which facilitates a better flow of communication.
Aim to learn how to actively and reflectively listen to someone. You can verify or ask questions during the discussion to show that the conversation is not just going one ear but out the other.
Improve Communication Skills
Aside from listening, better communication skills can also help improve the quality of your relationships. Speak about your thoughts and feelings without resorting to name-calling or violence. Learn the art of being tactful, do not backstab, and know when to diffuse heated discussions. By doing all these, you will show respect towards someone and earn that person’s respect as well.
It is easy to disregard other’s feelings and points of view, especially in these modern times when everyone seems to be busy always. However, good relationships take effort and loads of empathy.
By taking the time to be empathetic and understanding others, you will pave the way for them to see and treat you better as well. By not blaming others, forcefully giving advice, or devaluing emotions just because they may be “less” compared to what you’ve experienced – friendships and other social connections will surely thrive.
Spend Time Meaningfully
One of the best ways to develop healthy relationships is to spend time with each other. This will help everyone get to know one another deeper and will pave the way for more understanding, sharing, and kindness. Being present will build rapport and genuine affection.
Another crucial component of happy and long-lasting relationships is trust. If there is trust, you can be more confident in the relationship no matter what type it is. There is less anxiety and there is no need to engage in stressful suspicions and second thoughts.
Without these negative emotions, your mind will be more at ease and carefree. The sense of security will also go a long way to keeping your mental state healthy.
Understand That People Are Different
People live with all sorts of varying experiences and learn different life lessons. As such, it is impossible to just interact with people who are exactly the same as you. Even your closest friends or family members will have different personalities.
Only by accepting the fact that we are all different can you see the value and even celebrate human differences. By not forcing others to be just like yourself, you can encounter new perspectives and expand your horizons.
Give and Take
A healthy relationship is all about giving and taking in a harmonious manner. A disruption to the balance will lead to hurt feelings, sadness, anxiety, or depression. Therefore, it is important to develop connections that value the principle of give and take.
Mental health is important and relationships can affect it in many ways. Make sure to take good care of your social connections to have a happier life and a healthier mind!