Health is often focused around a wholesome diet and exercise, and for good reason. Eating and movement are the foundation of a healthy body and a clear mind. But once you’ve got that covered, and even if you’re still working on it, there’s a deeper level of wellness that goes beyond the physical body into other areas of life.
At Integrative Nutrition, one of our core concepts is Primary Food, the idea that many things in our lives have the potential to either provide nourishment and fulfillment, or leave us feeling drained no matter how healthy our meals are. Such things include career, spirituality, and relationships especially.
In most cases, Primary Foods affect our physical health too, such as how healthy relationships can reduce stress levels, strengthen immunity, and help us live longer.
If you’ve ever heard of a “toxic” relationship then you know just how impactful a negative one can be, but what about the positive relationships in our lives? If we get along well with people, should we just put a checkmark next to this Primary Food and call it a day, or is there a way to elevate the quality of the relationships in our lives so that they’re nourishing us in a more active and beneficial way?
Well, we think there are many ways to strengthen meaningful relationships in your life and here are our top five!
Give these a try and see what shifts result in your level of health and happiness.
1.Prioritize face time with friends and family. Sometimes, it’s the people closest to us that we neglect the most in light of life’s priorities and technologies, so aim for more genuine connections with friends and family. Start a weekly family gathering, a girl’s night out (or in!), visit a relative, or just unplug together in some way.
2.When you randomly think of someone you like, tell them! Have you ever thought about that time your mom gave you the perfect advice when you needed it most? Or when a neighbor went above and beyond to help you with an important errand? No matter how small the occurrence seemed at the time or how long ago it happened, if it comes to mind as significant and you are grateful for it, tell the person! Revisit the memory and share how much it meant to you (in person, on the phone, in a text, or through an old-fashioned handwritten letter). You’ll be amazed at how wonderful you’ll both feel as a result!
3.Get to know acquaintances and strangers. People can really surprise you if you open your heart and invite them in. If you’ve experienced the Health Coach Training Program or attended one of IIN’s live conferences, then you’ll know what we mean when we say that your new best friend could be sitting right next to you at any given moment! Set an intention to be a little more social with those you don’t know very well yet, ask them about themselves, and don’t assume you’re ever too shy, too old, or too anything to start a new relationship.
4. Say yes to invitations. If you find yourself often making up excuses not to be social, then you might be doing yourself a disservice by missing opportunities to connect. Responsibilities and self-care are valid reasons to turn down some events, but if your intuition tells you to say yes despite some fear or minor obstacles, then get past them and say YES! Go to the party, do the thing, meet new people, and be ok with a little awkwardness at first because it often turns out to be worth it.
5.Find your tribe. Not all relationships are going to leave you buzzing with positive energy because sometimes friends or family members disagree. But that’s ok if your need to connect on a deeper level is satisfied by like-minded people elsewhere. So find those who share your interests and hang out with them more! Whether it’s books, wellness, music, running, or world peace, there is bound to be a community who you will feel totally at home with, so spend more time with them.
If you really look around, you are likely presented with countless opportunities to form great relationships every day. Some are long-term and some are brief, but all that matters is that they leave you feeling more alive.
What’s the most important relationship in your life? Share in the comments below!
Love tips like this? Check out our "Ready for Love" Guide! This guide showcases what TRUE LOVE is all about and how to make it part of your life this month and the whole year-long.
The Institute for Integrative Nutrition (IIN) was founded nearly 30 years ago and has become the world’s largest and most prestigious online health coaching and nutrition school.
Learn more about IIN’s rigorous curriculum that integrates 90+ of the world’s leading experts in health and wellness, blending the scientific and the spiritual to create an immersive, holistic health education.