While relationships are some of the most complicated experiences we will ever encounter they can also be the most rewarding.
From who we are raised by and live next to, to who we work for and work with, every aspect of our lives revolve around relationships. Romantic or not, it is those relationships that also affect our health and well-being.
According to the National Academy of Sciences, the length of your life largely depends on how valuable your relationships are.
Since relationships play a vital part in how we live our lives and how we develop into the beings we are, it’s important to recognize the significant impact the quality of a relationship plays in our upbringing and becoming.
Just like how having a connection was a crucial need for survival centuries ago in tribes and villages, the connection within our communities is critical for us today. It is at the center of our core as spiritual beings.
We all yearn for some form of connection where we receive in return the same satisfying feeling of honesty, trust, respect, and openness that we strive to give to others.
While the desire to be in meaningful relationships that add value to our lives seems simple, cultivating them is the challenge.
Below, I’m giving you a breakdown of how to build healthy, soul-enriching relationships.
The Essentials (+ Exercises) for Building Healthy Relationships that Satisfy and Enrich Your Soul
- Respect yourself. The way you treat yourself reflects on how you treat others. So above all, it is essential that you work on your mindset, self-talk, and limiting beliefs to ensure you don’t project any negativity onto the people you love.
Exercise: Consider doing a self-reflection journaling exercise by writing a conversation you would have with yourself. What negative or positive patterns come up? Is there a familiar feeling or vibration? How can you improve the words you speak to yourself?
- Remember your boundaries. Your boundaries are essential for all relationships, including the one with yourself. Communicating when your boundaries are violated creates mutual understanding and respect.
Exercise: When your boundaries are crossed, the feeling of being unsafe and out of control is usually the result. Chances are, the person who crossed the boundary was unaware, and the violation was unintentional. Assess those feelings, have that discussion, and stand firm on those guidelines you’ve set for yourself to preserve your well-being. You sharing those boundaries shows self-respect for your time and energy, and they may also follow your example and establish boundaries for themselves.
- Share your expectations. Sharing with someone and listening in return to how you envision the relationship is essential and provides an opportunity for improvement.
Exercise: Reflect on what you would like from a partner, friend, co-worker, etc., and how it would feel for them to meet those expectations. A relationship built on honesty, trust, and mutual respect can thrive as long as both sides can reciprocate. However, consider that both parties are human and are prone to make mistakes. I do not encourage you to maintain a relationship that feels unsafe, but practicing forgiveness can help sustain or save one if you both feel it’s worth saving.
- Connect on a spiritual level. Most of my important relationships came from solidifying friendships through spirituality, an essential part of my life. Having a spiritual connection with someone else doesn’t necessarily have to be related to religion, but on the in-common perspective that the universe has united you both on your life journey.
Exercise: Identify those you can connect with on a spiritual level and continue nurturing those connections. Learn from each other how to communicate with the divine and what spiritual practices to perform.
- Check in on your loved ones. When someone you’re in a relationship with is not well, checking in on them not only shows that you genuinely care about them but fulfills your spirit as well. Finding ways to best support your loved ones builds trust and empathy. It can be by giving a call, taking them dinner, or just reminding them that you’re there for them could be all they need to feel loved and supported by you. Those genuine acts of showing support are essential in accomplishing the bigger purpose of having a relationship in the first place. Additionally, it reinforces your wisdom on emotional intelligence and opens room for reflection on how you could best feel loved and supported.
Exercise: Reach out to and for help. If someone is on your mind, reach out and ask what they need at the moment. Also, when someone reaches out to you, you can enrich their souls by opening up enough to allow them to support you where and how you need it.
- Serve others. Be generous, loving, and giving. Show up as your best self so you can give your best to others who need you. But do not forget to set boundaries to refrain from being taken advantage of and keep from feeling depleted. Serving others from a place of gratitude for being able to help and having someone special you can help is essential to building a healthy relationship. But help them after serving yourself first so you can give from a place of abundance that will make serving others more effortless and enriching.
Exercise: Fill your cup up first by resorting to your love bank. And once you’re full of serving yourself with love, find the freedom from that overflow to serve and love others.
- Practice empathy. Sometimes, the people we love and share these relationships with are not feeling or being their best. That’s why it’s essential to acknowledge their effort. Realize they are on a journey just like you are, and accept them as they are. Without expecting something in return, offer help and comfort where they need it however you can.
Exercise: Read and recite affirmations on acceptance. Then practice empathy towards the diverse people and different personalities in your life with whom you have close relationships with.
- Look to the future. Similar to #3, it’s not only essential to reflect on what you would like in a relationship; it’s important to view how you see it evolving into something new or more.
Exercise: Visualize your aspirations for an ideal relationship. You can include this in your vision-listing. Get clear on where the relationship is currently and where you want to see it down the road. Practice this if you are manifesting a new relationship or would like to foster the one(s) you’re in. Then together, take the steps you need to take to get there.
- Exit toxic relationships. Last but certainly not least, consider working towards leaving relationships that feel toxic or negative. I realize this is much easier said than done, especially when you created a life centered on this particular relationship. But walking away from a relationship that is not serving you is essential to your health. It also makes room for a positive, healthy, and more secure one to find you.
Exercise: Knowing when being in a relationship is harming your body, health, or well-being in any way provides a sign that it may be time to consider leaving. Spiritual practices to help you heal from a broken relationship are transformational letter writing, cord-cutting meditations, and self-care.
Are you looking for new ways to nourish your mental health spiritually? Learn four ways how spiritual practices can strengthen and support your mental well-being.
No matter what, you are responsible for your own happiness. When you integrate these essentials and implement these exercises, the more rewarding your relationship with others will be. But don’t forget the main takeaway… the most important relationship you have is the one you have with yourself.
It all starts with you. What are you doing daily to better your relationship with yourself to better your relationship with others?