The Importance of Healthy Relationships and Positivity

I am not a jock. A bad back was the reason my doctor mandated my withdrawal from physical education classes beginning in the seventh grade, so I didn’t have that high school experience of team or individual sports. As an adult, I have participated in one type of exercise after another, but, again, I show up and kind of do my best; still, it’s not exactly my thing.

So, why am I so dedicated to my cross fit classes? It certainly isn’t because I’m the shining-star jock that everyone aspires to be. But I walk in early every morning I am without a scheduling conflict, and see signs, such as the one shown above and, of course, I want to come.

Positive relationships and outlook at work

This is a community that focuses on a positive frame of mind and…ding, ding, ding… great relationships. No matter the day, the time, or the weather, there is always an encouraging word to be heard. This is not an environment that uses shame or embarrassment to goad someone into trying to do more or makes you look at others to match their accomplishments. Rather, the support they offer gives the participants encouragement so that you simply want to try…more.

Establishing positive relationships has proven time and again to be an essential component of living a healthy, happy life. Harvard Medical School points to increased longevity and greater wellbeing when people are involved with others whether the functions are with family, friends, religious or community events, or even workplace activities. At the same time, a lack of social ties can lead to depression, cognitive decline, or poorer health.

Strategies to improve social relationships

Opportunities for positive social connections are plentiful, but you have to be willing to make the effort.

  • Remember that you don’t have to agree with other people in all areas of thought in order to establish beneficial relationships. Accept and celebrate the differences that others have to offer. Learn more about other ways of life, religions, and cultures. Be open to the possibilities
  • Practice mindful communication. Listening to what is being said while others are speaking to you, rather than thinking about how you’ll be responding, will provide a chance to strengthen those relationships. And when you do speak, think carefully about what you say and how you say it. Hurt feelings and insults seldom lead to strong friendships.
  • Give yourself, and others, the gift of time. Rather than rushing from one activity to the next, make an effort to slow down. Enjoy each moment; really experience it!
  • Take care to unplug a bit every day. Technology is an important part of our lives, but neither computers, phones nor any other tool is good for anyone 24/7. Your brain needs times of quiet and calm. And, instead of paying attention to a technology screen or listing to a device, spend some of that time with others, or in time of quiet reflection, eventually improving your relationships.
  • Practice being kind to yourself. Those who have more empathy for themselves soon begin extending the same kindnesses to others. Accept that neither you, nor others, are perfect, nor are you expected to be.

It is never too late to strengthen relationships and look toward a more positive future.

Dr W



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