Relationships are an extremely important part of our lives. However sometimes we overlook its importance on our mental well-being. The Mental Health Foundation states that people who have more social relationships are physically and mentally healthier. It is not the number of friends, but the quality of relationships that matter. Research shows that positive relationships not only improves our mental health but also provides us with a sense of purpose and belonging.
Furthermore, the transition in family structures, work-life imbalance and long hours and the dependence on technology and phones have further contributed towards loneliness and social isolation.
It has been predicted that by 2022, depression is going to be the second most common illness following cardiac illness.
These symptoms also have a great impact on how we can build, develop and manage relationships. An individual’s overall confidence gets affected, which therefore makes it extremely difficult to interact and connect with others.
Therefore, it can be seen that this forms an intertwined circle as poor relationships cause poorer mental health, while poor mental health causes poorer relationships.
It is extremely important that we start paying attention to our overall relationships together with our mental health because both of them fundamentally go hand in hand.
You cannot focus on one while overlooking the other. It is extremely important to understand that individuals are not born to be cavemen and therefore have to focus on building close and healthy relationships. The same way how for better physical health we need to focus on a healthier lifestyle, for a better mental health we need to focus on building healthier positive relationships.
A healthy support system always helps. Especially when we are going through a tough phase in our lives. Oftentimes it is seen that when individuals are suffering, they need emotional support. However since they never concentrated on this part of their lives, they do not have it and are unable to get it due to their mental health at that point.
Here are a few basic tips that each one of us can employ in our lives, which will contribute towards better relationships and better mental health.
- Time – It is extremely important that we take out specific time for our friends and family each week. The same way we take out time for work, physical workout, sleep, etc.; the same way we have to take out time to build relationships as well.
- Respect – When building a relationship it is extremely important that we respect them and receive respect from them. No individual is perfect and therefore it is irrational to ask to find someone without flaws. However, try to find ways in which respect between both parties can be maintained.
- Mindful – One key way of maintaining respect is being mindful and present. This means that we are not on our phones or watching TV, but are available for our loved ones when with them.
- Listen – While being mindful, it is extremely important that we listen to what is being said to us. Many times we can be around people but not pay any attention to what they say. It is extremely important that we try and not stay distracted and actually listen to what is being said. It is also important that we feel heard as that will help keep the respect intact.
- Recognize toxic relationships – If you feel that you are around people that are constantly making you doubt yourself, unhappy or are bringing a negative environment – please maintain some distance from them. Having a toxic and unhealthy relationship is much worse than having no relationship at all.
Our mental health plays an important role in how we determine our relationships. On the other hand, our relationships, too, can contribute to a healthier mind. Find out more about mental health from our expert Ishita Pateria right here.