Relationships and Good Health: How to Build and Maintain This Crucial Connection
My husband and I, celebrating 19 years of marriage, just went back to Charleston, South Carolina, where we had our honeymoon. We took long walks and really engaged in what’s happening in our lives. We both are pretty busy, so taking this time was very special to us. It’s easy to take relationships for granted. Whether it be a close friend, a co-worker, or a romantic partner, showing you care is a sure-fire way to strengthen your relationship.
Everyone likes to feel appreciated
Don’t be stingy with giving thanks, no matter how small. If someone does something you appreciate, let them know. This will make both parties feel valued. Identify at least one attribute you value in each of your relationships, and let those individuals know about it. By showing others how much you care about them, you’ll encourage them to do the same in return.
Relationships thrive on positivity
My husband Scott and I don’t buy each other gifts. Both of our love languages are quality time. When we spend quality time with each other we feel enough love that buying a gift seems useless. While it’s not realistic to expect to be happy all the time, building strong relationships requires positivity to thrive. It’s easy to pull others down with you when you’re having a bad day, but too many days like this will cause others to go searching for those with a more cheerful outlook. This goes for any type of relationship you’re trying to cultivate or strengthen. Having a positive disposition is welcoming and inviting. Others will be attracted to your positivity. If you need a boost in positivity here are a few tricks:
-Look for the optimistic viewpoint even in negative situations. There’s always a lesson to be learned.
-Who you spend time with will have a huge effect on your outlook. Evaluate relationships, how do you feel after spending time with different people? If you find yourself feeling down, negative, or drained frequently by the same relationship, it may be time to step back.
-Keep things in perspective. When feeling stressed it’s easy to make a mountain out of a molehill. Remain calm so you can remain objective.
-Keep in mind that what you put out, you usually get back. If you’re negative and frustrated, that may be reflected back to you in your interactions with others. When you’re experiencing negative emotions, instead of taking them out on others, refocus your attention. Try lending a helping hand to someone in need. Even smiling through tough situations can help you remain positive.
Conflict is a normal part of having a relationship
Knowing how to respectfully settle disputes can help build stronger relationships. Conflict doesn’t damage relationships, but how conflict is dealt with can.
Here are some tips for managing and resolving conflicts in a healthy way:
-Address situations as they occur, don't avoid conflict. If you can’t let something go, it should be addressed quickly, before developing into a larger issue.
-Remember relationships are more important than “winning” arguments. Try to be respectful of others’ viewpoints. Let go of past hurts and resentments and focus on the present dispute.
-Pick your battles. Conflict can be draining, so it’s important to consider whether the issue is really worthy of your time and energy. This is probably one of my favorite questions in such circumstances: Should I pick this battle today?
-Be willing to forgive, and know when to let something go. This is the most important of all.
Learn to listen
One of my favorite skills that I have learned as a doctor is LISTENING. Active listening has become a lost art. Active listening involves both hearing and recognizing another’s perspective. Too often we’re so busy trying to get our own point across, we don’t take the time to understand what someone else is actually saying.
How well you listen impacts the quality of your relationships with others. If you find it difficult to concentrate on what someone is saying, try mentally repeating their words to reinforce the message.
Active listening techniques
Active listening techniques include:
-Paying attention, giving the speaker your undivided attention.
-Show that you are listening through acknowledgement and body language.
-Reflect on what you are hearing by paraphrasing or asking clarifying questions.
-Avoid interrupting. No one likes to be interrupted, this can frustrate the person speaking and distort their message.
-Respond with respect and understanding.
Research shows that when we see ourselves clearly, we can build stronger relationships and communicate more effectively. Self-awareness involves having a clear perception of your own strengths, weaknesses, thoughts, beliefs, motivation, and emotions.
Cultivating a strong sense of self-awareness allows you to understand others as well as how they perceive you. There are a number of techniques you can utilize to develop and deepen your own self-awareness.
Look at yourself objectively by identifying and writing out current perceptions. Jot down your accomplishments, things that made you happy during childhood, and things that you feel you could improve upon. Keeping a journal is a great way to develop self-awareness. You can write about your values and things that are important to you. It is very beneficial to periodically refer back to them and add notes if anything has changed and why.
Research has shown that individuals with supportive and rewarding relationships have better mental health, higher levels of subjective well-being, and lower rates of morbidity and mortality.
Relationships are important for supporting individuals in their ability to cope with stress or adversity. Additionally, a strong relationship helps a person learn, grow, explore, achieve goals, cultivate new talents, and find purpose and meaning in life.
5 components of wellbeing
5 components of wellbeing have been identified and linked with meaningful relationships. These components include:
-happiness and life satisfaction
-positive interpersonal expectancies
-healthy weight and activity levels
Interestingly, meaningful relationships are inherently connected to our mental and physical health and wellbeing. Researchers have found it is important to experience a variety of relationships. We are most likely to thrive with well-functioning close relationships that serve different support functions.
Are we really communicating in this technical age?
The extent of our relationships has changed drastically over recent years. Technology has provided a limitless boundary for which we can now develop relationships among nearly anyone on the planet. Technology has both opened many doors for new relationships as well as stunted the growth of some relationships. We have 24-hour unlimited access to communication, but are we really communicating?
We talk in shorthand without expressing genuine emotions. We may communicate to someone that we are “laughing out loud” (LOL), but we’re missing out on the experience of actually laughing together. As a result, there are a number of skills we have lost or are in the process of losing.
It’s natural for relationships to change and evolve over time, but it’s important to make true connections along the way.
Last week I did a brain map (EEG) on a patient that was having some memory issues. He wanted to see how his brain was performing. He is 89 and just moved in with his daughter this year. He is a very social man and was very involved in his community. Because he had moved 1,500 miles away from his former life, he was having a hard time adapting to all the changes. His brain map showed his brain function was overall pretty good but was having issues with visual processing. I believe that because he has not been social since his move, he has lost some of his memory. We discussed finding a place he could get involved in again. His eyes got a little brighter as we talked, and he could see that he could be used with a new sense of purpose. We all desire purpose no matter what age. I pray he finds new relationships he can build on and feel needed again. No medication can fix this man’s problem.
These are the top ten ways to help you and your relationships. Now go have fun with a friend today!
#1: Positive thinking
#2: Show that you care
#3: Be considerate
#4: Be an active listener
#5: Self awareness
#6: Settle disputes
#7: Be a great communicator
#8: Be the kind of friend you want to have
#9: Put yourself in others shoes
#10: Don’t keep score
If you want more healthy tips you can subscribe to my YouTube channel here https://www.youtube.com/drcorinneweaver. Like and comment on my channel so I will know what tips and topics you want to know about. I am forming a community of people who want to take action in their own health with my social media channels and I want to know what health topics you want to hear.
I hope my column speaks to you and you can wake up each morning with a purpose. What I do every day is a calling, and I give God the glory for allowing His gifts to work through me. I do believe in miracles, because I get to see them every day! For more information you can go to www.nomoremedsmovement.com and sign up for my closed Facebook group #NoMoreMeds-Community for more healthy tips.
Dr. Corinne Weaver
Dr. Corinne Weaver is a compassionate upper cervical chiropractor, educator, motivational speaker, mother of three, and internationally bestselling author. In 2004, she founded the Upper Cervical Wellness Center in Indian Trail, North Carolina. Over the last 13 years, she has helped thousands of clients restore their brain to-body function. When she was 10 years old, she lost her own health as the result of a bike accident that led to having asthma and allergy issues that she thought she would always have to endure. Then, after her first upper cervical adjustment at age 21, her health began to improve thanks to upper cervical care and natural herbal remedies. This enabled her to create a drug-free wellness lifestyle for herself and her family, and she also enthusiastically discovered her calling to help children heal naturally.
Dr. Weaver was recently named one of Charlotte Magazine's "Top Doctors" in 2016 and is now a number-one internationally bestselling author to two books: Learning How to Breathe and No More Meds.
Upper Cervical Wellness Center is known for finding the root cause of health concerns through lifestyle changes, diagnostic testing, nutraceutical supplementation, and correction of subluxation (as opposed to just medicating the symptoms). The practice offers cutting-edge technological care at its state-of-the-art facility, including laser-aligned upper cervical X-rays, bioimpedance analysis (measures body composition), digital thermography (locates thermal abnormalities characterized by skin inflammation), and complete nutritional blood analysis, which is focused on disease prevention.