Few things can exist in a vacuum, void of nurture and sustenance, and relationships are not one of them. In my second book, The E Factor: Engage, Energize, Enrich – 3 Steps to Vibrant Health, I have an entire chapter on the wellness enriching importance of healthy relationships. I call that chapter, “Relationship as a Verb” because healthy relationships are living energy exchanges that take action and effort.

We have all sorts of different relationships with different people in our lives and our various tribes. Of course there are our family and friends. But also remember the relationships you have with your co-workers and staff, your clients, and the people you come into contact with throughout your day. Your relationship may be life-long or only a couple minutes, but that human connection, no matter how brief, matters.

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There are a few things I want you to keep in mind and consider when thinking about your relationships. Are you consistently kind with everyone in your life? We have a tendency to treat those we are closest to differently, and often worse than total strangers. Whether they are your wife, child, neighbor, guy at the dry cleaner, or the movie ticket taker, be kind and considerate. I added considerate in there because it is easy to quickly say, “I’m not unkind or mean.” I ask you, are you considerate?

 

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You might not do or say anything mean or unkind, but you can still unintentionally be indifferent or inconsiderate. Do you take people for granted? Are you even noticing the other person and caring for them? Being considerate is more than how you treat someone. It is how you take them into account, acknowledge them and their needs and relationship to you. Kindness, consideration, thoughtfulness – these go a long ways to improving the relationships we have and healing our world.

Here’s your healthy habit challenge: Nurture your relationships. Here are ways to help you make that happen.

Be grateful. When you’re writing in your journal or practicing gratitude, include the relationships in your life. Take a few moments each day to actively think about the specific friends and family that you love.

Reach out. Call up or meet up with someone you haven’t seen or spoken to in a while. Don’t avoid making that phone call to catch up or writing that email because you don’t have time for a 2 hour conversation or to write out everything that has happened since you last talked. If you have 5 minutes to touch base, make the most of 5 minutes. If all you can say is, “Hi. I’ve been thinking of you and appreciate you,” then say that.

Be present. When you’re with people give them your whole attention. Spend the time you have at home each night actually being with your family, not just being in the same house. Being present includes staying off your phone when you’re checking out at the grocery store or closing Facebook when you’re on the phone with your Mom.

Be consciously kind and smile. Smile at everyone and be kind and considerate. Say hello, please and thank you. Open doors. Let elderly go in front of you at the store. It might sound old fashioned, but how often do we actually do this or experience it from others these days?

That’s your healthy habit assignment for this month! Nurture all the relationships in your life.

I encourage you to journal throughout the month about the small changes you make and the big shifts you feel.

Hugs!

Michelle

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