5 ways to push your relationship refresh button
We could all use some R&R when it comes to the relationships in our lives
Let’s face it, we could all use a little R & R when it comes to our relationships in our lives: Reflection around our behavior with the people we care about (including ourselves) and the choice to respond to our reflections with an intentional positive action step.
Take a moment to thoughtfully reflect on five individual ways, each with its own unique 24-hour action call, to refresh your relationships.
As you read through each tip, write down the suggested 24-hour action step you want to transfer into your relationship behavior and act on it.
Tip No. 1: Tune into others’ perspectives
Perhaps you have heard of the story about the Three Blind Men and the Elephant. Each blind man touched a different part of the elephant: the tail, the leg and the trunk. Although each one reported an entirely different experience about what they were touching, collectively they all explored the same thing: the elephant.
While your individual perception of a situation is true, it may not include the whole truth surrounding the situation.
Your 24-Hour Action Step: If you desire to create positive connections with the people you care about, over the next 24 hours, expand your ability to tune into other peoples’ perspectives. Avoid assuming that people have the same perception that you do and try to see things from their point of view. You should remain curious and fascinated but ask questions for clarity. The more information you have, the more likely you are to tune into a collaborative connection.
Tip No. 2: Create positive connections
Every human being has a need for both safety and connection. If we understand that we see other people as we are, we will be able to look at each relationship we have with another person as an opportunity to learn and grow.
When we meet people who impact our emotions negatively, we will begin to see those encounters as teachable moments. These moments reveal to us where we are stuck in our abilities to set healthy boundaries, forgive, understand and not take things personally.
Your 24-Hour Action Step: Choose three acts that create positive connections with people at work and home and perform those acts.
Tip No. 3: Happiness is an inside job
Once upon a time there was a beggar sitting on a box. Day after day he held out his hand to people on the street asking for money. This went on for several years until one day, a curious child stood in front of the beggar and asked: “Sir, what’s in your box?” The beggar crunched his face up and said, “I don’t know, it’s just a box I sit on.” The curious child was persistent and asked the beggar to open the box and look inside. To his shock and surprise, he found the box he was sitting on was filled with gold.
You are responsible for your own happiness. Sustainable happiness flows from the inside out not the outside in.
Your 24-Hour Action Step: Over the next day, focus on two activities in life that create a sense of joy. Make sure that are not dependent upon another human being.
Tip No. 4: Have a positive attitude
Mirror neurons were discovered in the 1990s. These neurons imitate the actions and emotions of other people. They are designed to help us empathize and understand other people. Thanks to these neurons, you can evoke an emotional response in other people, positive or negative.
How you choose to show up emotionally in a relationship impacts the connection you will experience. In neuro-linguistic programming (NLP), they refer to this as eliciting states of behavior. Studies reveal that a positive emotional expression from one person can lift negative energy put off by another person.
Your 24-Hour Action Step: Make a conscious choice today to show up with a positive attitude in every encounter you have with another human being. Smile, laugh, use encouraging words and explore kind, empathetic responses. See how many negative encounters you can flip into positive ones by choosing the response you would want to experience.
Tip No. 5: The power of positive words
I became aware of Dr. Masaru Emoto’s water studies from Japan during my experience with advanced cancer. The study inspired me to use positive words and affirmations throughout my treatment and subsequent healing.
Dr. Emoto, author of The Hidden Messages in Water, discovered that crystals formed in frozen water reveal changes when specific, concentrated thoughts are directed toward them.
He found that water from clear springs exposed to loving words, show brilliant, complex, and colorful snowflake patterns under the microscope. In contrast, polluted water, water exposed to negative words, forms incomplete, asymmetrical patterns with dull colors and dark holes. To me, because our bodies are made up of 70% water, this speaks of the power of positive words all the way down to the cellular level.
Your 24-Hour Action Step: Watch what you say, your body is listening. Speak life into your body by using kind, loving, supportive words toward yourself and others. The words you choose to use when communicating with other people will either open or shut the door to connection and the choice is yours.