Through the years, we have many relationships. Some last a short time, while others remain through a lifetime. They can be professional, family, friends, or an intimate one, but what is a healthy relationship and how can they support a healthy lifestyle?
Healthy relationships are comprised of people who care for and assist each other to achieve dreams and goals. They are strong in good times and steadfast during the tough periods. Without a doubt, each person in the relationship expects the same mutual support and caring, but you are never controlled by others, nor or they controlled by you. In fact, healthy relationships makes our lives happier, helps us to reduce stress, and allows us to live a more fulfilling life with deeper meaning.
Throughout my adult life, I've had exceptional professional relationships that have taught me lessons I could not have learned elsewhere. I've had friends and family who I can call on in times of need, but who have also made my life fun and social and have made me feel loved. Through the marvel of Facebook, I've reconnected with friends from years past with whom I share countless memories. My relationship with my two adult children is my source for inspiration; and they both hold my heart. My husband is my constant companion and true love. There is gold to be found in each relationship, and healthy relationships form healthy lives.
We need numerous people in our lives, for various reasons. We need people we can share a bond with, those we can laugh and be ourselves with, and individuals we can call in our time of need for support or advice. We need people who can rely on us, making us feel worthy and needed. It takes work and time to have a fulfilling, healthy relationship, and the time invested helps us to know ourselves and each other more deeply.
Ward's article Why Authentic Relationships Are the Key to Professional Success, is about professional relationships, but her ideas cross over into success in personal relationships, as well. Ward suggests we cultivate relationships by paying attention the body-mind connection and to use both instinct and intellect when making decisions about people. She asks us to nurture relationships by surrounding ourselves with people who value our expertise, and to treasure our physical and mental health in order to make informed decisions about others.
To invest in healthy relationships, I believe we need to:
- Take the time necessary to develop a healthy relationship, and be an active participant.
- Practice self-love by changing negative internal messages into positive ones, making you someone that others want to be with.
- Have a small group of trusted people to lean on when you are in need, and be that person to others.
- Have fun with others as you enjoy doing mutually satisfying activities.
- Step back when a relationship takes a different turn and wants you to be someone you are not.
As important as your relationship with people are, you also need to consider your relationship with food. You must be the one in control. If your relationship with food is unhealthy, all other relationships may suffer. As your health deteriorates you may not have the stamina to be a active participant in the relationship, and the intimate relationship that you have, could become one of care giving.
Keep the relationship you have with yourself healthy by choosing to care for your health through good food, self-care, positive self-talk, and healthy living. All other relationships can then flourish.