Relationships are the most significant and challenging experience we encounter in this thing called life. Yet, they are also the most rewarding.
Every aspect of life revolves around relationships.
When I say “relationship,” I do not just mean with a romantic partner (if we have one). We have relationships with our friends, coworkers and our boss, with mentors or teachers, and even our neighbors.
Relationships have a significant impact on how we experience life, whether or not we are successful, and how much pain or joy we experience in our lifetime.
As Jim Rohn said, “You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.”
Beyond food, water and shelter, connection is one of our critical needs for survival. Some hundreds and thousands of years ago, in tribal communities, we needed connection to others to literally stay alive.
If you didn’t connect with others, you’d die. Still to this day, according to an article by the National Academy of Sciences, your length of life depends largely on how deep and valuable your relationships are. Your relationships also affect how healthy you are!
Connection is so vital to how we feel every single day. It impacts where we spend our time, what our hobbies and passions are, even what foods we eat! Connection is the root that runs through the center of our lives.
We all want to connect – we want to have an impact on others and receive the same in return. And we all want to THRIVE in all of our relationships. But the HOW might not be so easy . . .
It All Begins With the Most Important Relationship In Your Life . . .
The most important relationship – the one that is so easily and often neglected, sometimes misunderstood, or even completely devoid of – is the relationship that we have with ourselves.
Yes, that’s right! The relationship with yourself.
You might be wondering, “Relationship with yourself? What does THAT even mean?!” Great question!
“The better you know yourself, the better your relationship with the rest of the world.” -Toni Collette
Having a relationship with yourself – or more importantly, cultivating a healthy relationship with yourself – is the single most important thing you will do in your life. And a healthy relationship with yourself revolves around self-love.
Self-love is crucial. But what exactly does that mean? As Toni Collette has said, “The better you know yourself, the better your relationship with the rest of the world.”
Here’s How to Cultivate a Supportive, Healthy Relationship With YourSELF:
In order to thrive in any relationship you have in life, you must first have a healthy relationship with yourself. If you love yourself, you’re able to give your best to your other relationships, and as a result – they will thrive. Yet without that key foundation, the rest of your relationships will suffer.
It all starts with building a love for yourself, creating self-care practices, cultivating self-love, and honoring yourself and your needs.
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This can involve a number of things including journaling, getting outside, taking a yoga class, or just having some quiet time alone and saying “no” to something or someone that doesn’t support you. That’s right full-fledged practices to just love yourself.
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These five are some of the most effective practices that I recommend to my clients to build a healthy relationship with yourself:
1. Slow Down!
Tune into yourself daily to check how you feel. What emotions or thoughts may be arising? Feel into that, breathe into it, and just observe.
I find setting a reminder in my phone to check in allows me to take a moment to stop what I am doing, and simply observe how I feel.
2. Create a Mantra
Think of a word or phrase that allows you to connect with your highest self, your inner truth, your being. This mantra could be “I am love” or “I love myself for exactly who I am today.”
Find something that resonates with you and speak that to yourself aloud or in your mind throughout the day. Creating a repetitive practice of doing this will slowly shift how you feel about yourself, just from how you speak to yourself. Love yourself with your words!
Need some good mantra ideas? These 5 Morning Mantras Will Transform Your Day
When this word gets thrown around instantly our minds go to booze. While that is certainly a great way to cultivate self-love, I’m referring to doing a digital detox.
We all spend a lot of time on screens, and few will argue that it’s not the best use of our time (particularly when it comes to hours of pointless scrolling).
Take a day per week (or if that’s too much, an hour a day) where you put the phone on silent (or even better OFF) and just BE in the present moment. Take notice of what’s around you, how you feel, the subtle beauty offered in each precious moment, and the magnificence in what surrounds you!
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By far, meditation is one of the most powerful tools that we have access to at any moment to tap into self-love. Take time each day to meditate, even if you only have five minutes!
Pay attention to your breath. The breath will guide you to how you are thinking and what you are feeling. Just observe.
Thoughts become things! Rewrite your thoughts. Lovingly speak kindly to yourself if something comes up that feels harmful to how you feel. That is a great way to feel into what you may feel about yourself.
Need some guidance? Practice this Guided Pranayama and Mindfulness Meditation for a Calm and Peaceful Mind (Video)
I find journaling to be one of most incredible ways to release. We have thousands of thoughts that run through our minds and letting them out, pen to paper, is a very soothing and cathartic release.
You can think of a word to write about, or even better, just let the thoughts flow straight out with no limitations!
Why Having a Healthy Relationship With Yourself Is the Most Important Relationship
The most rewarding practice is taking time to be alone. Solo. No distractions, no objectives, no phone, no people. Simply being alone. This creates an inner foundation that becomes unbreakable.
That way, when things don’t go our way, we come back to what we have established and solidified within: Our inner self-love and appreciation for every part of ourselves.
Psychology Today states that, “Your relationship with yourself is arguably the most important relationship in life. Self-relationship is the foundation of everything else – even altruism.”
To elaborate, creating and establishing a healthy relationship with yourself is critical to development, not only in your formative years, but also as we move into adulthood.
When establishing a solid foundation, you allow yourself to develop not only better habits for self-care and self-awareness, but also how you interact with those around you in all areas of your life.
The Takeaway on the Power of Self-Love and Having a Healthy Relationship With Yourself
Here is a deeply challenging question for you to consider: If you were to remove your partner, your job, or those possessions you so love, how would you feel?
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This is a great form of measurement to gauge whether your relationship with yourself is strong enough. And whether the love you have for yourself and the deep connection you have from within can carry you through life’s challenges and allow for healthy relationships with others.
The rippling effect of how you feel about yourself spreads far and wide to everyone you have encounters with. It is perfectly okay to be selfish in this way.
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If you were to remove your partner, your job, or those possessions you so love, how would you feel?
What are you doing daily to learn to love you, or love yourself even more, so that you can show up as your best self for YOU and for others?
At the end of the day, only you are responsible for your happiness and for living your best life. The more you hone in on your authentic self, through love and care, healthy boundaries, and good habits, the more rewarding your life will be. And the better you’ll be able to relate with others.
So go out there and love yourself!
Would you like a little extra help with crafting a better relationship to self and others? Book a FREE coaching consultation with me and we can discuss ways that I can help.
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