Personal Health- A must for Positive Relationships

Personal Health- A must for Positive Relationships

Being healthy both physically and mentally precedes being your best self. It lays a must for a positive, successful relationship with yourself and lays the foundation for establishing deep meaningful connections with others. For, this let’s break it down into 2 distinct parts

  • the ‘healthy you’
  • the ‘healthy you in a relationship’.

Let's start with just you → Our personal health is a solo pursuit and an individual journey. I think “becoming healthy” is a far better north star than “being healthy”. It's a fact that we all spend most of our life at some point of our “becoming healthy” journey while “being healthy” is the aspirational end state, given that even the best of us are not in perfect health all the time. I often ask myself, am I feeling healthier today than yesterday?  My answer to this question forces me to dwell on aspects such as:

  • Am I eating well?
  • Am I moving enough?
  • Am I happy?
  • How well am I managing stress?
  • Am I rested enough?

This quest is not time bound or short term but continues throughout our lives. As we age this journey becomes more significant as our bodies are also on the decline. A healthy mind, body and spirit today determines how well we do with current challenges and sets the stage for what our future self and life will look like . Some useful tools on this journey:

  1. A growth mindset that pushes us to be open and lifelong learners gives us the understanding that we are not perfect, which eases the pressure we put on ourselves day in and day out. It really helps to break the cycle of negative thoughts such as; ‘I cannot do it’ or ‘I am not good enough’. And makes it ok to not chase perfection but gradually become better at managing our health behaviours and subsequently our health. It allows for open mindedness, curiosity and experimentation to continually redefine and recalibrate our thoughts on what health means to us in the context of our age, state of our health and our lifestyle - this makes this journey all the more enjoyable.
  2. Self-talk refers to our inner dialogue. If what we think is who we are, then the quality of our self talk constantly shapes, frames and defines our mindset. Most of us have this innate ability to either talk ourselves in or out of most everything. This gives the quality of our self-talk the power to influence our views about ourselves and then change our behaviours. As negative thoughts set the stage for unhealthy behaviours, it's imperative to mindfully improve the quality of our self-dialogue this requires us to Catch our thoughts, Check our thoughts, Challenge our thoughts and then Change our thoughts (the 4 C’s) to use self-talk as an enabler in the journey towards a healthier version of you.
  3. Health routine - While we are all interested in health, why is it that only some of us are successful at getting the healthy stuff done? The difference is a routine that enables us to translate our health interests into health actions. It’s as simple as calendaring the actions in and attaching a day, date and time to the things we want to do and get them done. Once we begin the work, we start to feel better and this makes the cycle self perpetuating. I always tell my clients once you decide to embark on this journey, then habits will sustain you and motivation will follow. Don’t wait for motivation to begin, just as we dont wait for all traffic lights to turn green before we drive out. We begin driving and then maneuver our way to reach the desired destination.

To me being healthy means being happy, productive, connected, engaged, curious, empathic, caring. Those are the very same qualities that set us up for positive relationships with others. It's definitely beyond what the weighing scale says or what the mirror says to me:) However, it has everything to do with what I think about myself and how I feel about myself.

This is especially true for people who are looking to venture into relationships at an older age. Health and healthy pursuits should be a factor that brings you together as it offers a multitude of opportunities for togetherness and shared experiences. I have personally known relationships that have grown stronger based on this shared interest and also seen a few where a dissonance weakens an otherwise strong connection.

Your health determines the quality of your interactions and this relationship is circular and self-sustaining. It presupposes that we must first have what we want to offer to others. In order to give ourselves the best chance at relationship success we owe it to ourselves and our partners to be in the best possible state of health that sets the stage for positive productive current and future partnership/s.

About the author - Rittu is a certified Health Coach and a Behavior Change Specialist, she founded The Balanced Bandwagon (BB) and coaches clients on holistic health and lifestyle to enable them magnify their health! She is a health enthusiast and all her insights and perspective have been gained through her personal journey, corporate experience and coaching assignments. The BB Program advocates the concept of striving for a dynamic balance on the four wheels of the bandwagon - nourishment, movement, mindfulness and relaxation.

Rittu has lived and worked in multiple countries like India, Australia, Singapore and the United States. This gives her a diverse cultural background that she leverages in her work with clients across multiple geographies.