The Significant Mental Benefits of Strong Relationships
Have you been feeling lonely lately? Do you feel like you have many acquaintances, but close friends are becoming fewer and farther between? Is the weight of loneliness during such a challenging year holding you down and making you feel drained and confused?
This has been a difficult year for everyone, and maintaining healthy relationships is harder than ever when facing a global health pandemic. Many locations are still facing lockdowns and quarantines, making it harder to connect with your loved ones in meaningful ways.
Facing such a demanding year feels even harder when you don’t have anyone to confide in, to share your deepest thoughts, feelings, and fears with. When we connect with others on a soul level, we feel stronger and more capable of dealing with the challenges that flow into our lives – because we feel supported.
If you’re feeling disconnected right now, it’s important to understand that you’re not alone. Most of us are experiencing a sense of disconnection from the world around us, including those people that we love the most. After all, it’s hardly easy to maintain a deep connection when you can’t come within six feet of your loved ones.
However, we need the healing experience of deep connection more than ever right now. Sharing your spirit with friends and family actually raises your vibrations and helps you feel more grateful, happy, and blessed.
If you crave this depth of connection, if you desire that warm embrace of support and love from those you’re close with, then this article is for you.
Today, we’re going to explore the beauty of strong relationships, why we need them, and how to start building them right this moment.
What’s So Important About Strong Relationships?
You may feel like the term “strong relationships” is rather vague, so it would be beneficial to break that down a bit. Strong relationships are built on a solid foundation that can weather any storm. No relationship is perfect or without conflict, but a strong relationship can survive those arguments or misunderstandings. Weaker relationships tend to snap under the pressure of disagreements.
This does not mean that strong relationships don’t face many challenges, as challenges are a very natural part of life. A relationship that contains depth will actually blossom and grow from these challenges rather than wither and fall away.
Experiencing Personal Growth
Another facet of a strong relationship is that it encourages you to grow as an individual and doesn’t hold you back from who you’re meant to be. If you have a friend, family member, or partner that doesn’t support your vision for your life, it can be difficult to feel confident moving forward towards your dreams.
When communication is open and honest within a strong relationship, the other party can help you recognize patterns of behavior that may not be serving you in an objective manner. You can trust them to give it to you straight and you know not to take it personally because they’re trying to support you and lift you up.
Escaping from Expectations
We live in a hustle culture that puts pressure on us each and every day to be the most productive, beautiful, and fit versions of ourselves that we can be. Let’s face it, a lot of the standards set by society are pretty unattainable. When you have strong relationships and people that lift you up, you can take a momentary break from these pressures and simply enjoy each other’s company.
Finding Your Soul’s Purpose
When you connect with someone on a deeply spiritual level – allowing them to relate to you beyond your strengths and weaknesses – they will help you tune into that whispered voice that is silenced by fear and negative self-talk far too often. This connection will help you find and grow into your soul’s purpose.
When you care deeply for someone, you’re more likely to take responsibility for your words, actions, and perceptions. This helps you care more for those you’ve never even met, as your empathy grows more each day when you spend time with those you love. Imagine a society wherein we all had these inspiring, powerful connections helping us blossom into our most compassionate selves.
Allowing someone into your heart, allowing them to see your vulnerabilities, helps you feel safe, loved, and supported in this life. Strong relationships encourage you to be yourself rather than trying to fit into an idea of who you should be that was created by someone else.
These connections lead to heightened self-esteem, reduced anxiety and depression, and the courage to share your spirit with the world. Furthermore, a lack of strong relationships can weaken the immune system, so connecting with others can actually help you feel healthier and stronger.
Stronger Bonds Can Feel Difficult to Build Right Now
Our one-on-one connections have largely been replaced with text messages and emails, not only because we live in an increasingly technological society, but also because we’re living in the middle of a pandemic that requires safer, more creative forms of communication. While we can sprinkle our correspondences with silly emojis and funny memes, this form of communication can feel less gratifying than one-on-one conversations.
This change in communication can also make it more difficult to maintain strong bonds, as spending time in person with someone helps you take in both verbal and nonverbal communication. As we age, we have less drive to seek out strong relationships because we’ve been burned or hurt before. Unconscious pessimism can prevent us from forming these bonds, or we try to become stronger on our own.
As adults, we may be subconsciously looking for red flags when relationships begin, attempting to avoid the pain that we’ve felt previously. Certain cues may trigger you and make you feel that a relationship is untenable before you even give it a chance. When you’re seeking deeper relationships, you start with the intention of vulnerable, honest conversations, opening your heart, and letting someone else in.
These relationships may be platonic or romantic, and both are valid and important. It’s more important to focus on letting the love of all kinds into your life and your heart rather than focusing on one or the other. Platonic friendships and romantic relationships will flow into your life at different times for different reasons.
It’s the time now to set your intentions to attract these relationships into your life for deeper, more meaningful connections.
Read next: Under Pressure: How to Handle Relationship Stress During Isolation
How to Develop Strong Relationships
If you’re still reading, you’re probably interested in building these strong relationships for yourself, and we’ve compiled a list of small steps you can take to move towards deeper, more intimate, and healthier bonds.
1. Put Yourself Out There
Building relationships may require meeting new people, which is going to take confidence and the willingness to put yourself out there in the world. While deepening the connections you already have is beautiful, sometimes our existing relationships taper off because they aren’t serving us in some way.
It’s wonderful to meet new people and establish new connections, but it can also feel difficult during a pandemic. There are still many ways to meet new people and put yourself out there, from chat forums to online dating. Many dating applications now include your preference for dating, from virtual to social distancing dates.
Start building your self-confidence with positive affirmations to remind yourself all that you have to offer in any relationship – and then let others see that part of you as well.
2. Be Willing to Embrace Difference Between You
Everyone is unique and holds different beliefs and interests. It’s important that your willing to embrace and celebrate these differences if you’re going to build strong relationships. An open mind is necessary to allow someone else into your heart, especially when you disagree on things. It is nearly impossible to find someone who will agree with every single thought or opinion that you have.
So, acknowledge the differences and be willing to talk openly and compassionately about things different thoughts or beliefs that you might have.
3. Be the Friend You Seek
What qualities are you looking for in a friendship or romantic relationship? Some traits might include being a good listener, being compassionate, understanding, and willing to admit when they’re wrong about something. Whatever traits you want in a relationship are important for you to embody.
Make sure that you’re listening when they have something they need to talk about. Offer words of encouragement when they’re distraught. Try to be compassionate when they need to get something off their chest or be vulnerable with you.
Cultivating deeper relationships requires the willingness to be the friend you seek.
4. Communicate Deeply
Building stronger relationships also requires a willingness to communicate deeply with someone, sharing your thoughts and feelings, and allowing yourself to be vulnerable with them. This can feel scary at first, especially if you’ve been hurt before. It’s simple but tough, being open and honest is necessary for deeper bonds to form.
Practice in small steps – you don’t have to spill your deepest, darkest secrets all at once. You’ll start finding it easier and easier to open up and let people into your heart.
5. Manifest Your Relationships
Intention setting and manifestation are beneficial for attracting anything you want in this life – and gratitude is a crucial component in manifestation. Start by listing everything that you’re grateful for, including any strong relationships you have now or will have in the future.
Practicing gratitude for the things you want to manifest opens a direct line to the universe, making it easier to attract those things.
Positive affirmations are also a great way to manifest deeper relationships and build confidence to seek out relationships that serve us. Try writing “I attract strong relationships that are supportive and inspiring,” in a journal and repeating that phrase to yourself throughout the day. Sometimes we have to change our approach and perception of relationships in order to remind ourselves that we are worthy of deep connections.
We need deep connections and stronger bonds now more than ever.
Make sure that you’re connected to your own spirit and appreciative of who you are, and go out into the world, sharing your luminous nature! The people that you meet and build connections with have been waiting for you, too.
Related article: How to Stay Social in the Age of Social Distancing