Did you know that research shows that people who feel loved are more likely to enjoy healthier hearts than those who feel unloved? Love is the healthiest of all emotions, yet it takes effort to stay in love once the infatuation stage ends.
In fact studies in positive psychology show that the quality of your relationships can make you happier, perform better, and feel better.
So how do you make that a reality in both your intimate relationships, friendships, and family relationships?
When you interact with others are you intentional? The most successful people make a conscious choice on who they're going to be and how they are going to interact with people.
For example, I've always been the first person up in the morning and when our kids were younger, they often were up shortly after I was. When my husband would get up, he would often come into the kitchen ready to take care of business. It often created chaos because he hadn't taken the time to connect with us before he started "doing."
While I certainly appreciated that he would sweep the floor every morning (we have two dogs and it's great that he does that every morning), it shifted the energy and didn't feel positive.
These days, we make it a point to hug when he comes in and he also interacts with the kids before he does anything else. It makes a huge difference in how the day starts off.
Imagine Their Best Self
Expect the worst of someone and guess what? That's exactly what you'll get.
Now turn that around and spend some time imagining a person in your life as their best future self. Depending on who it is, spend more time or less time. You'll be surprised, that when you expect someone to live up to a certain standard, and live into their best self, they often will.
People can feel it, whether it's your husband or wife, one of your kids, or someone at work. If you expect a positive interaction, you'll often get it.
If there has been some disconnect or troubles in the past, it might not happen immediately, but give it a try. It works, and even if it takes a little effort, it feels good!
Find out what love language your "people" speak.
Different people speak different "love languages," and it's important to find out what your partner's primary love language is. It's also important to find out what your's is. Communication is key!
Be sure to download the Love Language Quiz below. It can be a fun Valentine's Day Activity for you and your partner!
Love Language #1: Words of Affirmation
Word's of affirmation are simply verbal compliments, or word's of appreciation. They're powerful communicators of love. They're best expressed in simple straightforward statements, such as:
"You look great in that sweater."
"Thank's for cleaning up after dinner last night."
"I appreciated how you handled that situation with the kids this morning. You're a great dad."
Simply using kind words can go a long way towards showing love and appreciation to your partner, family, or friends.
This can work out in the world too. While you don't have to love everyone, like the old saying goes "You catch more bees with honey than vinegar."
Love Language #2: Quality Time
Quality time means spending time with someone where you're giving them your undivided attention. It's not sitting on the couch watching TV together, it's not going out to eat, then staring at your cell phone all night.
I'm not saying it has to complicated, just spending thirty minutes having a cup of tea together or going for a walk, can do wonders for a relationship of any kind.
It's not easy these days. We have so many distractions now, from cell phones, computers, TV's. The list is endless.
Whether it's your partner, friends, or family, do you spend quality time with them? When your kids come home from school or you come home from work, do you stop and ask them about their day and actually listen?
Don't be hard on yourself, just start noticing.
Love Language #3: Receiving Gifts
Gifts are visual symbols of love. They can come in all types, expensive or inexpensive. Gifts can be purchased, found, or made.
If someone's primary love language is receiving gifts, they generally won't care what it is. They just appreciate the giving. Like I said, you don't have to spend a lot of money, you can brainstorm ways in which you can give small gifts frequently.
Love Language #4: Acts of Service
Acts of service are just what they sound like, doing something for someone else to show your love. Often times, acts of service will be chores.
What's important is that if you're trying to show love by acts of service, they need to be the right acts of service. If you're doing the "wrong" thing to show love, it doesn't work.
Communication is involved in this one. Don't be afraid to ask what someone would like for you to do to be of service.
Love Language #5: Physical Touch
Many studies have shown that babies that are touched and held not only develop a healthier emotional life, but thrive physically as well.
Physical touch is also an important way to communicate intimate or marital love. This doesn't have to sexual touch all the time, it can also be reaching for your partner's hand, or giving him or her a hug when they walk through the door.
Like all of them physical touch is more important to some people than others. What's important is to ask!
All of these come back to being intentional in the way you are with people and also how you think of them.
The people with the most satisfying relationships in their lives are very introspective about what they want to bring to the lives of the people around them. They expect to have positive interactions and mostly get it, because they have decided in advance how they want interactions to be!
How intentional are you in your interactions with the people in your life? Do you see a difference when you pay more attention to what makes other's feel appreciated or loved?
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Women's Wellness Circle: From Inflammation to Vibrant Health
Hi, I’m Crystal!