‘Mind Yourself’ – Mental Health & Wellbeing with Martin Furber

What is a Mentally Healthy Relationship?

There’s no doubt about it, having a great relationship with a significant-other, can do wonders for our mental health and sense of general well-being.

However, those flushes of feeling wonderful when we first meet ‘the one’ can cause us to throw logic out of the window. It’s perfectly natural, the emotional part of the mind follows instinct rather than logic, affecting how we act and feel. That’s why, when we are in the early throws of a relationship, we can become a little detached from reality and see the person through rose-tinted glasses. You’re probably familiar with the expression ‘love is blind’!

Once we become invested in a relationship and it naturally progresses, life events will happen, such as changing jobs, moving home, even having or adopting children etc. It is easy for daily life to take its toll and test even the most solid of relationships.

All relationships take effort, understanding and patience to grow and flourish. All relationships can become strained from time to time. I’ve put a few pointers together for you this month, to explain how to have a mentally healthy relationship.

  • Boundaries – setting your own and respecting your partner’s. If we don’t state boundaries, we can’t expect people to know what they are. Similarly, we need to find out what red-lines our partner may have, that we should not cross. The only way to do this, brings me to my second point.
  • Good and open communication is key to a healthy relationship. It helps to clear misunderstandings, solve problems and build trust. When people stop talking to each other about the things which might be bothering them, the issues can just become bigger and more difficult to resolve.
  • Encourage each other to have hobbies, friends and interests outside of the relationship. When we first become involved in a relationship, it can be very easy to neglect all our other friends and family members, devoting every spare moment to our new partner. As time moves on though, and our lives change and progress, encouraging outside interests will enable you both to have fuller lives and help you both to enjoy my next point more.
  • Spend quality time together to help strengthen the bond and build intimacy. It is all too easy to allow daily life to over-burden us and take the fun out of a relationship. Make time for a regular ‘date-night’ if you can, where you just make time for each other, remembering all the reasons you got together in the first place.
  • Treat each other with respect and dignity. Avoid criticism, blame and insults, especially if something outside the relationship is affecting you, don’t blame your partner. It is very common, when any of us are particularly stressed or anxious, to end up letting our feelings of frustration or anger, take over conversations at home.
  • Take care of your own physical, mental and emotional well-being. A healthy individual contributes to a healthy relationship. When we feel good about ourselves, and we are practising good self-care, we are at our best. This can resonate through all our relationships, whether that be at home, work or elsewhere. As humans we do react to each other, we pick up on all kinds of signals at a sub-conscious level. So do make time to look after yourself.

Let’s face it, we can’t expect our lives or our relationships to run smoothly all the time. However, if you have read the points above and feel that your relationship is out of balance, then maybe it is time to have a good heart-to-heart conversation. In today’s fast-moving world, it can be so easy to let our busy lives take over everything, meaning that we can easily begin to neglect the things that are important to us.

Finally, one thing many people find hard to do when things have not gone right in a relationship, is to practice forgiveness. I’m not talking about forgiving your partner, I am talking about forgiving yourself. We all make mistakes in life, it happens. If we’re smart, we learn from our mistakes. In order to do that, we also need to be able to forgive ourselves when we haven’t got it quite right, so go easy on yourself if you’ve messed up.

That’s it for this month. If you would like me to cover any other subjects to do with mental health and well-being please get in touch, I’d love to hear from you.

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