All of us need to seek comfort and support from others from time to time, whether we have a huge circle of friends or a few close confidants. As with many aspects of modern life, however, it is easy to dismiss what we all know will aid our general wellbeing.
New research released by the Mental Health Foundation to mark Mental Health Awareness Week (16-22May16) shows that people regard maintaining healthy relationships as the most important factor to their wellbeing than eating healthily, exercising or avoiding negative habits including smoking combined. However, 46 per cent of the 2,000 adults in the U.K. who participated in the survey also admitted they regret not investing more time in their relationships – a figure which alarmingly hits 50 per cent among men.
As part of their guide to investing in relationships, the Mental Health Foundation sets out several key ways people can stave off loneliness and create more supportive relationships which protect both the mind and body.
Make active attempts to schedule in time to connect with friends and family when possible.
It can be tempting to check your phone, social media messages or work emails when spending time with family and friends. But try to be present in the moment and be there for your loved ones by switching out of work mode wherever possible.
Actively listen to what others are saying in a non-judgmental way and concentrate on their needs in that moment.
Be listened to
Share how you are feeling, honestly, and allow yourself to be listened and supported.
Recognize unhealthy relationships
Being around positive people can make us happier. However, our wellbeing can be negatively affected by harmful relationships leaving us despondent. Recognizing this can help us move forward and find solutions to issues.
Make your relationships resolution
The Mental Health Foundation is encouraging people to make a relationship resolution this week (ends22May16). Those who sign up on their website will receive a text on New Year’s Eve to check their progress and prompt them to continue their efforts into 2017.