Humans are built to thrive on connections, which to be fair, is quite important as our social health and social support can save us from falling too far into distress. We form relationships from the second we’re born and keep them till our last breath. However, I’ve realized with startling clarity that there’s one relationship that we almost always forget to count. The relationship we have with ourselves.
It’s normal to hear the word, “relationship” and think of a loving and devoted couple or on second thoughts, a parental relationship, maybe a friendship too. This also means that we have overlooked a very important relationship – the one we have with ourselves.
I mean, technically, the very first relationship we have is the one with ourselves, right? How we think about or even treat ourselves influences our healthy relationships with ourselves and also the ones we form with others.
So, can you say confidently that you have a healthy relationship with yourself? Check out the signs of a healthy relationship with yourself, its benefits, and some easy tips to improve your relationship with yourself below!
Signs Of A Healthy Relationship With Yourself
When I talk about a relationship with myself, it’s simple. The feelings you have for yourself, the way you treat yourself, and the decisions you make when your needs and choices are concerned about all define the self-relationship I’m talking about. The way you look at yourself, talk to yourself, and even respond to your needs is what influences your behavior, mindset, and mood.
And after all, isn’t this what all relationships are supposed to be like? I mean, if you look at yourself with disgust or contempt, then your actions towards yourself and others will reflect that, but if you look at and treat yourself with compassion and unconditional love, that will also be reflected in your actions, right?
Let’s take a look at the signs of a healthy relationship with yourself and if you have one;
You are gracious and grateful for the present moment
You are in tune with your mind and body and prefer to do what feels good and right to you
You surround yourself with positive people and activities and you laugh and smile regularly
You are comfortable with yourself and can spend time alone with yourself without needing social media or anything else to fill the silence
You’re self-aware of your needs and take time to care for yourself
You have your hobbies and interests that you keep alive even if you have a partner with different hobbies and interests
You enjoy the silence and understand that it’s OK to need a break
You choose to share your time with people who encourage and even share your interests
You have a positive self-talk routine
You pamper yourself and know that a “me time” break every once in a while, doesn’t hurt, only helps
Why Is It Important To Have A Healthy Self-Relationship?
The idea of having a relationship with yourself might sound funny, but it’s high time we teach ourselves and others around us how to have a healthy relationship with ourselves. I’ve found the hard way that not having a good relationship with yourself can not only hurt you but your loved ones as well. And I’m not talking about physical hurt.
Being harsh and critical toward yourself can lower your self-esteem and make you feel bad about yourself, making you want to socially isolate yourself and retreat into a shell. Moreover, not having a healthy relationship with yourself can make you vulnerable to toxic relationships as there might be a lack of boundaries.
All these things can start a domino effect, affecting not only your self-relationship but also your relationships with your family, friends, and even coworkers.
An unhealthy relationship with yourself can hold you back from achieving your goals and pursuing your dreams because you become your own enemy with hurtful and discouraging words, quite literally too.
Eventually, this emotional and mental hurt you subject yourself to can affect your behavior, causing stress, anxiety, social phobia, and depression. So, now do you understand why self-compassion and self-care need to be a part of your life?
Let’s take a look at some easy tips to build a healthy relationship with yourself.
How To Improve Your Relationship With Yourself?
1. Talk To Yourself
Go and stand in front of a mirror and ask yourself, “How am I feeling?” What’s the answer? Pause and reflect on that. Try to name what you’re feeling or what you’re thinking. If the emotion you’re experiencing is foreign, then notice other sensations in your body. Check-in with yourself to understand where you are and what needs to be done.
2. Say Yes To Your Feelings
The next thing you need to do is say “YES” to your feelings without holding any judgment. This goes for all unpleasant feelings too like guilt, shame, and anger. When you love someone, you accept all of them – flaws and all – right? So why not accept your unpleasant feelings or flaws even? Validating your feelings can help you understand why you’re feeling them or what caused them.
3. Learn To Draw A Line
Again, having a good relationship with yourself means being able to draw a line where you feel your boundaries are being crossed. It means standing up for yourself when the need arises. And to do that you can begin by understanding and setting boundaries. It might seem odd and uncomfortable at first, but it’s important, so brave it, and you’ll turn in the direction of having a healthy self-relationship.
4. Make Time For Yourself
It can be hard to set time apart for yourself, but it’s needed if you want to nurture your relationship with yourself. Whenever you can, take some time for yourself to do something you like or what makes you happy. It could be a date with yourself or going to the movies alone. Just something that helps you know yourself better.
5. It’s Not Selfish, Remember That
There might come a time when you might feel like you’re being selfish by taking time for yourself, but it’s not that. We’ve become used to taking care of others first and then ourselves. taking the time, we need to have a better relationship with ourselves might seem selfish. Having a healthy relationship with yourself means that you need to make yourself a priority. Because if you’re OK – inside and out – only then you can share the same compassion with others.
6. Work Through Your Feelings
If you’re finding it hard to understand your feelings, then you can try to work through them by journaling your feelings. This is a great way to understand what emotions you’re experiencing and why. Plus, your thoughts, once on paper, can help you parse through them better and see where they’re coming from.
7. Focus On Your Strengths
You might feel weirded out when you begin to constantly compliment yourself or begin self-affirmations, but you’ll soon realize that by doing this, you’re raising your self-esteem and self-worth. Try this for a week and see the change in the way you move, think, and act. You can also try to treat yourself to little rewards when you do something well or are proud of yourself.
8. Speak To Someone
If you’re unable to work on improving your relationship with yourself, don’t worry. Talking to someone you trust might help, and even if that doesn’t, you can reach out to a therapist or a counselor. A therapist can guide you through the areas you need to work on if you want to have a healthy relationship with yourself.
The idea of having a healthy relationship with yourself is about building and nurturing your mental health. In the end, it’s your relationship with yourself that influences how you see, talk, or even interact with yourself and others.
I hope the ways I’ve listed in this article to improve your relationship with yourself will help you nurture yourself-relationship. For more, you can write to us at email@example.com or DM us on social media.
You can also share your tips and thoughts with us in the comments section below.
Take Care and Stay Happy!