Build Strong Relationships
When we think about our health, we most often think of diet and exercise. However, having positive connections with others is tremendously important to our health and well-being.
Studies show that people who have positive, healthy relationships have fewer illnesses and less stress, they recover from illnesses and injuries quicker, and they even live longer.
Because social connections are vital to our physical and mental health, it’s important to take the time to develop and maintain meaningful relationships.
“Fully experiencing the connection that exists between us all is the secret to true contentment.”
~ Simon Boylan
Types of Relationships
The relationships we have with others can greatly affect the quality of our lives.
The relationships you have with your family members are a significant part of your life. While all families have problems and challenges, they are typically far outweighed by a foundation of love. Nurture your family relationships – they need to last a lifetime.
Friendships enrich your life, help you through difficult times, and make life more enjoyable. Friends want the best for you, and they like you for who you are. If they don’t, it is time to move on and find new friends.
Seek the counsel of parents, teachers, and advisors. Benefit from their wisdom and experience.
We all enjoy having someone special in our life. Make sure that any romantic relationship is based on shared interests and values, respect, and genuine affection.
Be careful regarding relationships developed online, and never let online relationships diminish or replace real-life relationships.
While all relationships are unique, healthy relationships have many characteristics in common.
In a healthy relationship, you
Respect an trust one another
Celebrate each other’s successes and joys
Feel safe sharing personal or private information
Have activities that you do apart from each other
Laugh and have fun together
Are available when the other needs help
Have shared interests
Stand up for each other
Are comfortable being together in silence
Want the very best for each other
Not all relationships are healthy. Consider replacing a relationship that has any of these characteristics with one that’s more positive.
You feel pressure to change or to do things you don’t want to do.
You question whether or not the other person has your best interests at heart.
The relationship isn’t based on equality.
You don’t trust the other person.
Some people are just naturally good at forming meaningful relationships. Most people, however, have to work at developing and maintaining healthy relationships.
Relationship Building Tips
Be a good listener. Regardless of what’s going on around you, give the person you are with your complete attention.
Celebrate another’s good news with enthusiasm.
Make time for the people who are important to you, regardless of how busy you are.
During difficult times, be encouraging and supportive.
Be loyal and trustworthy. Stand up for those you care about, and never betray their trust.
Let others know how important they are to you.
“The only way to have a friend is to be one.” ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson
Ways to Connect with Others
Below are some things you can do to connect with others and make new friends.
As you walk to and from class, smile, make eye contact, and say “hi”.
Join a club. This is a great way to get to know others with similar interests.
Volunteer for a group or a cause you believe in. you’ll meet interesting people and you’ll feel good about the work you do.
If you are shy, push yourself a little. Try acting as if you are outgoing.
Go outside and take a walk. Smile and make eye contact with people you see.
Join a team or go to a gym or rec center. You’ll meet people who care about their health – and you’ll get in shape.
Smile and strike up a conversation with someone in class, at the library, or at a local hangout.
Watch your body language. People are drawn to those who stand tall, act confident, ad seem positive and approachable.
“Treasure you relationships, not your possessions.” ~ Anthony J. D’Angelo