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6 Steps to a Healthy Relationship

Healthy Lifestyle

Stronger, healthier and happier relationships

A big part of our health is our relationship with others in our daily life. All relationships can be challenging at times. The goal is to build it stronger, healthier and happier, to help promote our overall well-being, inside and out. 

Six ways to build a better relationship

  1. Focus on the positive. It may be as easy as a simple compliment, acknowledging your partner for hard work they have done, or surprising your partner by taking care of chores they don’t like to do. Point out and think about what is going well in your relationship. Tell your partner how much you appreciate what he or she does for you. Showing and receiving respect and gratitude are the best feelings. A person’s greatest emotional need is to feel appreciated, and this will help them feel more satisfied in the relationship. 
  2. Spend quality time together and be present with one another. Shut off your phone and be fully present. Take a walk out in nature or take the dog for a walk. Make the time to experience the beauty in life and things you enjoy together. Really listen to what your partner says and don’t assume you know what he or she thinks. Choose an activity with your partner that you’ve never done together before – one you would both find engaging and fun. It could be something like taking dancing lessons, bowling, yoga or an art class. You can also try something with your partner that he or she enjoys that you’ve never done before. 
  3. Eat and prepare your meal together. Put on your favorite music or light a candle to make it a positive experience. Try a new healthy recipe you both may love. Enjoy each other’s company. Turn off the TV and talk about your day. Mindfully eat and savor the taste of the food you have prepared. Homemade meals are the healthiest and often taste the best! 
  4. Encourage a healthy lifestyle for your partner. When someone is trying to lose weight or improve their health, having a strong support system can often mean the difference between success and failure. Having a partner who will hold you accountable, keep you motivated, and be supportive of your changes is most helpful. It is tough to do it alone and that encouragement can be the difference in meeting goals and maintaining the healthy lifestyle needed. Do it for yourself… AND your partner for a long, healthy life together.
  5. Have a physical connection with each other, no matter how many years you have been together. Make it a habit to hug each other when you get home from work. Hugging improves depression, helps the immune system, reduces stress and induces sleep. Massages are great, too. Along with showing your affection, simple massages can be an effective way for couples to improve their physical and mental wellbeing.
  6. Have a positive relationship with yourself, too. It is important to feel good about yourself in order for other relationships to work. Believe you are a worthwhile person and deserve to be happy. Identify things you love about yourself or what you are good at doing. The relationship you have with yourself is the foundation on which other relationships are built. 

Positive relationships don’t happen by luck. Relationships must be nurtured and invested for them to grow and flourish. When you realize your relationship is in a rough spot, take heart. Actions can strengthen our relationship and keep both of you healthy and happy. 
 

Brenda Herrod

About the Author:

Brenda Herrod is a board-certified women’s health nurse practitioner who is passionate about inspiring and sharing her healthy lifestyle with others.

She is also an AFAA Certified Personal Trainer, C.O.P.E. Certified Health Coach, and Precision Nutrition Health Coach working with employees at Methodist Health System.

See More Articles by Brenda Herrod