Soul to Soul: Mental Benefits of Strong Relationships
Do you ever feel like you have a lot of acquaintances but few close friends with whom you can be entirely raw and share your deepest personal feelings? Sometimes our minds create subconscious barriers that keep us from opening up to others and bearing our soul. In a very real way, when we speak soul to soul with others, we are actually able to experience the sensation of someone else’s energy without our insecurities or impositions getting in the way.
In other words, exposing our souls to others is a type of healing. We start to feel uplifted through that interaction because we aren’t communicating in a fear based way, but a loving and expansive way. This article has one purpose: to show you the value of deep relationships and motivate you to let your guard down and strike up deep conversations. When we begin to see the value in soul connections, we can start to see where we may be selling ourselves short in relationships and what exactly is blocking our richness of experience.
What’s So Important About Strong Relationships?
You may have read the title of this article and thought, “well, define ‘strong relationships.’” Strong relationships have bonds that weather any storm, can handle the truth, and won’t snap under pressure. Moreover, they are relationships that push us to grow into happier, more compassionate humans by helping us see ourselves more clearly.
Deep relationships do challenge us, but there is a deeper, unselfish, and unconditional love involved; one where we feel a sense of lifelong loyalty, allowing us to accept people completely with all their complexities.
Allowing others to see your soul means you’ll have someone who knows your patterns and who can help you see them in a more neutral way to make sure you aren’t self-sabotaging or running from problems only to find them again in another environment.
Real soul connections can help you cut through the superficial pressures put on us by society to live up to a certain (read: unattainable) image that can push us into jobs we hate, relationships that aren’t a good fit, or debt we don’t need. They can help us have compassion for others instead of becoming self-obsessed and competitive in our subconscious.
Finally, they can help us find and grow into our soul’s purpose, because when someone relates to you beyond your strengths and weaknesses, on a truly spiritual level, they will help you tune into that whispered voice that can often be silenced by fear or negative self-talk. The deeper our friendships, the better our society will be because these types of relationships lead us to be able to take a deeper responsibility for our words, actions, and perceptions.
When we allow ourselves and each other to be vulnerable and explore deeper within ourselves, we start to feel safe and loved for who we are and not who we feel we are supposed to be. That can lead to better self esteem, less anxiety and depression, and a fuller expression of our spirit. The immune system actually becomes less functional when we don’t have strong relationships, which can lead to sickness.
How To Develop Strong Relationships
In today’s cell phone and laptop era, we have replaced conversation with disjointed half sentences and emojis. How often have you avoided a potentially difficult conversation with a text or a sad face emoji? We are losing our ability to maintain strong relationships at a rapid rate, which is why we must bring this to the forefront of our minds and use that momentum to do the exact opposite.
As we become adults, our brains often stop driving us to develop strong relationships because we have been hurt or allow us to become unconsciously pessimistic about the intentions of others. Or we simply think we can handle things alone.
Adults often judge people negatively based on cues or triggers that remind us of bad experiences we have had in the past. When we want to develop deeper relationships, we need only to start with an intention to have deeper, uncontrolled and unsuperficial conversations in order to open our hearts to sense the soul behind the scars we all hold.
We can set our own intentions to offer our time in a different way to people: without an agenda to date them, get a job from them, or get anything at all from them. When we start to offer deep listening and vulnerability, our relationships and the types of people we will gravitate to will shift. You’ll get back what you give sooner than you expect.
Simple Actions and Baby Steps
Moving forward, there are 3 simple actions you can take to create strong relationships with others. First is being a caring listener and asking questions that are meaningful and helpful. Take responsibility for your communication and bring it to a deeper level. Next, take the time to cultivate deeper relationships such as having phone conversations instead of sending a text. Spend 30 minutes grabbing coffee instead of scrolling through someone’s Instagram to get updated on their life. Really make an effort to spend time with those you care about.
Finally, identify your avoidant behaviors and override them by focusing on your desired outcome. For example, writing an affirmation in your journal every morning and every night will start to retrain your brain to make this a part of your reality: try something like “I am grateful for the strong relationships in my life.” You can also make a vision board with magazine photos and inspiring words and place it somewhere you will see everyday. These reminders will eventually override the habits that have caused you to dodge people for fear of being hurt or other insecurities.
Think of someone who has made you feel seen and valued at some point in your life. Maybe they took their time to help you see that you could overcome a difficult time in your life. Maybe they talked you through a major change you were nervous to make, or maybe they were there at your ugliest moment and didn’t walk away. How did that person make you feel?
We cannot look at others only for what they can offer us; that will never lead to strong relationships. We must get real with our intentions and find it in our hearts to stop thinking about ourselves and truly, genuinely care.
The more we show up for others with an open heart and the willingness to share our own souls, the more others will feel safe and able to connect to us on a much deeper, more fulfilling level. It all boils down to being willing to feel the whole beautiful spectrum of human emotion and admit we are all still learning.
Related Article: Tense Relationships? Try These Tips to Ease the Stress