Relationships matter

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Last month (May) the Mental Health Foundation held a Mental Health Awareness Week, with a special focus on relationships. Rye-based counsellor and psychotherapist Stephen Weaver explains why relationships matter:

Mental Health Awareness Week
Mental Health Awareness Week

Good relationships help us live longer and happier lives with fewer mental health problems.
These are the supportive connections we share with friends, family and our community.
Investing in these relationships is as critical to our health and wellbeing as other lifestyle factors such as eating well, exercising more and stopping smoking.

The Mental Health Foundation is lobbying national governments, public bodies and employers to promote good relationships and to tackle the barriers to forming them, including mounting pressures on work–life balance and the impact of bullying and unhealthy relationships. But there is a challenge for everyone, in going the extra mile to prioritise relationships. Why not make a relationship resolution this week? Assess how much time you actively commit to building and maintaining good relationships and ask whether you can invest more in being present with and listening to friends, family and colleagues.

Give your time
Put time aside to nurture important relationships. We can be so busy with school or work that we don’t spend time with the important people in our lives.

Be present
It can be tempting to check your phone, Facebook messages or even work emails when with family and friends. Try to be present in the moment and there for your loved ones.

Listen
Actively listen to what others are saying in a non-judgemental way. Concentrate on their needs in
that moment.

Be listened to
Share how you are feeling, honestly and allow yourself to be listened to and supported.

Recognise unhealthy relationships
Are certain relationships making you unhappy? Recognising these can help you move forward and find solutions to issues.

One of the most important relationship resolutions you could make would be to consider relationship counselling for yourself and your partner. Most couples hit difficulties at some stage in their relationships. Whether having trouble speaking out what you really think and feel or being able to listen to what your partner has to say in return, couples counselling can help to shift what can seem like stuckness in the direction of a more positive outcome.

Stephen Weaver offers relationship counselling at the practice at the Rye Creative Centre.
For further details or to book an appointment you can contact Stephen on 07939 393567 or to learn more visit his website.

Image from ©Thinkstock

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