Mental health and healthy relationships go hand-in-hand. When you struggle with your mental health, you may withdraw or lash out, which can cause your relationships with partners, family, friends, and co-workers to suffer. To maintain the relationships that you value most, you must take care of your own mental well-being. These four tips can help you improve your mental health — and foster healthier relationships too.
Find a plan to help improve your mental health.
Even if you know that your mental health needs work, it can be hard to know where to start. Luckily, programs like 75 Hard can help you get on the right path. You might be asking yourself “What is 75 Hard?” Simply put, it’s a routine. This routine helps you hold yourself accountable for eating well, drinking water, and exercising. When you take better care of your physical health, your mental health often follows suit — but you need to start with a plan.
Set realistic expectations for yourself and others.
One of the biggest reasons that relationships fail is that people tend to set unrealistic expectations not only for themselves but also for others. You can’t be everything to any one person, and you also can’t expect that one person can be everything to you. When does giving to others feel like a chore to you? Have you given up all of your hobbies in favor of doing your partner’s hobbies? It’s also important to think about expectations you have for others that they can’t accommodate. Setting realistic expectations for your actions and others’ behavior can help you develop healthier, and more meaningful relationships.
Learn how to communicate clearly.
Too often, relationships struggle because of miscommunications — or no communication at all. Honest, open communication is essential for any type of relationship to survive. If you and someone you care about have something important to discuss, make the effort to prioritize actively listening during the conversation. Ask clarifying questions when you need to make sure that you aren’t misunderstanding anything. Then, take time to process the other person’s words before you share your own thoughts. Together, work to compromise or determine how you can prevent future conflicts.
Practice the HALT method.
It is natural for people to disagree sometimes, but try to prevent arguments over little things. If you feel frustration over small annoyances — like listening to a too-loud TV or dealing with someone who’s talking to you while you’re working — consider the HALT method. “HALT” stands for “hungry, angry, lonely, tired.” Are any of these feelings causing you to act more irritable than usual? If the answer is “yes,” do what you can to curb the problem before you talk to the person you’re upset with. You may even find that once you eat or take a nap, you no longer feel upset. Meeting your basic needs will help give you the mental clarity you need to communicate more effectively.
You deserve to have meaningful, healthy relationships. Use these tips to communicate more effectively, and identify areas where you can improve your own mental health to make your relationships more successful.
Featured Photo by Giorgio Trovato on Unsplash.