CEO, The One Love Foundation
This love expert shares 5 steps you can take to change your behaviors, have healthier relationships and live with more love.
We all know that leading a healthy life means being mindful about our choices, from the food we eat and the exercise we do to the sleep we get and the meditation we practice. However, in our quest for fulfillment, we tend to ignore one of the most critical elements: conducting healthy relationships.
Research shows that the quality of our relationships dictates many health and social outcomes.
Instinctually, we know this to be true. We’ve all felt the demoralizing effect of a toxic or conflict-filled relationship. But healthy love doesn’t happen by itself; it requires foundational skills that few of us have learned and none of us are born with. So how can you love better? We have five suggestions:
1. Learn the signs
The first step is knowing what unhealthy and healthy relationship behaviors look like.
2. Match emotions you feel with signs you now know
Think about your present relationships. Do they make you feel confident or do they provoke anxiety and drama? Try to match up those emotions with some of the behaviors you’ve learned. Now you have a language to use.
3. Evaluate yourself
Practicing healthy love also applies to how you treat yourself. Do you have negative narratives cycling through your head that are getting in your way? Is it your own intensity creating problems with a colleague? Or your insecurity leading to jealousy with your partner?
4. Raise your bar
Making a conscious commitment to being healthier also means insisting on a higher bar in your relationships. Learn to talk openly with the people you care about instead of making assumptions or shutting down.
5. Practice Practice Practice
Just like going to the gym builds a stronger body, the habit of practicing healthy relationship behaviors builds a stronger life. The core elements are simple: open communication, mutual respect, and trust. Commit to using these tools and thinking about your relationships intentionally every day, and you’ll see a difference. For so long, we’ve treated relationships as a soft topic when in reality they are one of the hardest things to learn to maintain well. While none of us will ever be perfect in our relationships, we can all do our part to learn to love better.