Top Tips for Building Great Relationships
Maintaining healthy, supportive, long lasting relationships – whether that’s with our partner, our friends or family – is one of the key factors in living longer, healthier, happier lives. So here are some top tips to help keep your relationships on track.
Tip 1: Don’t take it personally
When we are stressed we aren’t thinking straight and we often say things we don’t really mean, or we are so distracted by our stressful situation that we aren’t giving the deserved attention to those around us. We’ve all done it!
But we never mean to cause hurt to those around us – it’s just that in our stressed state all we can focus on is our own situation. And it’s well worth remembering this when you are on the receiving end! Generally it isn’t meant personally. It isn’t a reflection of you, it’s a reflection of the other person’s stress. And as soon as we realise this it’s much easier to let it go and walk away without taking it personally.
Tip 2: Get some perspective
Recognise that your perception of reality is not reality itself. We’ve all seen the social media phenomena about “that” dress – is it blue and black or is it white and gold? It’s the same dress but some of us see different colours when we look at it. It’s a bit of fun but it illustrates perfectly that we all see things differently and it’s important to allow for this when we are nurturing our relationships.
Tip 3: Don’t dwell
Life isn’t perfect and sometimes our relationships don’t go swimmingly all the time. Let’s face it – life happens! But it’s important not to dwell on the things that go wrong. Our brains don’t know the difference between imagination and reality so when we dwell on things, going back over and over them, wishing we’d said this or done that, as far as our brain is concerned the event is happening all over again causing us even more stress and worry. That’s not to say we should ignore these things and sweep them under the carpet! We need to be able to discuss them together and move on, or seek the support we need from a friend. But it’s when we find ourselves going over and over the same event again and again in our minds, or when we realise we’re telling the story now for the 10th time that we need to stop dwelling on the problem in order to be able to find the solutions and move forward.
Tip 4: Focus on the Positives
None of us are perfect – we all come as an amazing package of good bits, and not so good bits and everything else in between! When we are feeling stressed it’s the not good bits in ourselves that tend to come to the fore and it’s not the good bits in others that we tend to recognise more! Our stressed brain is a very negative place to be and it is constantly on the look out for threats – it only sees the bad things and doesn’t recognise the good things. That doesn’t mean the good bits aren’t there, it just means you aren’t seeing them! So take a moment to recognise and be grateful for all the good things in those around you.
Tip 5: Stay Connected
When life gets tough we have a tendency to isolate ourselves – we stop going out, we stop picking up the phone, we stop reaching out to our friends. Ironically it is our social connections that are one of the key factors in helping us to cope with life’s difficulties so it’s really important to invest in them. So say yes when someone invites you for a drink, take the time to stop and chat to a neighbour in the street, send that email you’ve been meaning to send. Social interactions like these release our feel good hormone serotonin giving us a real boost.
Tip 6: Have Some Fun!
Not only does having fun together release a bucket load of serotonin at the time but it helps to create an ongoing flow of this wonderful feel good hormone. It provides us with positive memories that we can look back on and creates anticipation for the next time we will be with that person again. Remember, our brain doesn’t know the difference between imagination and reality so when we look back on that event, or we look ahead to the future and imagine how great it’s going to be our brain thinks we’re really having that amazing time right now and releases yet more serotonin which is why positive reflection makes us feel so happy.
If you’d like to find out how hypnotherapy could help you build great relationships get in touch with your local Inspired to Change hypnotherapist and book your FREE initial consultation.
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