Given the choice, most people want to be in healthy relationships. Healthy, happy relationships are the foundation for our mental health, personal satisfaction, and our esteem. The better our relationships are, the healthier we are. It’s that simple. In the same way we can boost our physical health one small habit at a time, we can also boost our mental health one small relationship habit at a time.
Relationships Require Effort
There’s nothing better than experiencing effortless connection with someone. Finding people who click with your personality, morals, values, and interests feels amazing. Even the most compatible relationships require effort, it takes time and energy to keep relationships interesting and healthy.
Life gets busy, and sometimes our relationships suffer. Finding the time to invest in relationships and stay connected is often in jeopardy as schedules fill up and more demands take up our time. That’s why small habits can help strengthen relationships so they can withstand the natural ups and downs of life.
Small Habits Build Strong Relationships
It’s not healthy to be all things to all people. In fact, giving too much in a relationship can lead to co-dependency which isn’t healthy at all. Even parents and children need healthy balances between them, but there are small things that can strengthen relationships and make them better. Here are some ideas-
Relationship micro habit: Pay attention to the five love languages– Gary Chapman, author of The Five Love Languages, suggests that people give and receive love in one of five ways-
- Acts of service
- Words of affirmation
- Personal time
Learning the love language of the people you’re closest to can help you strengthen your relationships in meaningful ways.
Relationship micro habit: Share a meal- Ever hear of the term breaking bread? That refers to coming together for a meal, which in ancient times was a gesture of friendship. The act of sharing a meal with people you care about creates the opportunity for quality time, laughter, and connection without distraction. Make time to go to dinner or host dinner with the people you want to create strong bonds with.
Relationship micro habit: Learn to listen- Being a good listener is harder than you may think. In fact, learning to actively listen is one of the best things you can do to strengthen relationships. Good listening requires reading non-verbal communication, asking questions, and letting the person you’re with know you’ve heard them. Great listening skills strengthen relationships and make communication incredibly easy.
There are plenty of ways to make the people closest to you feel important. Develop micro habits that build strong relationships that withstand the test of time.