This might sound odd to a lot of people, but building a relationship with yourself is just as important as having a healthy relationship with other people. Building a relationship with yourself involves how you think about yourself, how you treat yourself, the decisions you make for yourself and how it influences those around you.
A positive self-relationship will lead to a strong and healthy connection with yourself, friends and family. It can make you resilient to mental health illnesses like depression, anxiety and panic attacks. While a negative self-relationship might open you up to issues like low self-esteem, stress, social anxiety and even toxic relationships.
There are several ways you can build a relationship with yourself, if you aren’t sure how to develop a healthy relationship with yourself, try these self-help tips:
Acknowledge your feelings
There is always that judgemental voice in your head that criticises your every move. Shun that voice. Starve that voice by validating your feelings. Understand that it is okay to cry, feel sad, angry, frustrated or happy and that you have a right to feel these things. Don't be too hard on yourself over something that is out of your control. Often times people gaslight themselves and shame themselves for feeling a certain way. Don't dictate how you should feel. Let the emotions flow and comfort yourself as any empathetic person would.
2. Get comfortable with saying "NO"
Who said you had to say yes to every request? Get comfortable with saying "No" when it is inconvenient or when you find the situation absolutely unnecessary. You have a right over how you spend your time and energy, so it is okay to say "NO". When you answer in the affirmative against how you feel, you are setting yourself up for burnout. Building a relationship with yourself involves aligning with your true self, and one of the ways to do this is by saying NO and regaining control over your time and energy.
Saying no at first might not be easy. Most people, worry about being seen as lazy, selfish, or as a disappointment, but remember that it is well within your right to say NO. Ultimately, checking in with yourself first and letting your needs take priority can make you a better friend in the long term because you aren’t allowing your unmet needs to turn to resentment.
3. Set aside time to do the things you enjoy
Do not deny yourself little pleasures in life. Just like you would do in a romantic relationship, take yourself out on a date, go see a movie, take a walk in nature, go swimming or just be with the people you love. It will put you in a good mental head space and make you feel good about yourself. It also keeps you away from toxic energy and keeps you with positive energy. Attending to your needs by doing the things you enjoy is surely a good way to build a positive relationship with yourself.
4. Keep a journal
Keeping a journal is a very good way to learn more about yourself. If you are having trouble understanding yourself or why you are the way you are, journaling is a good way to start building a relationship with yourself. Journaling involves writing. You get to write how you feel, whatever comes to your mind at the moment and put out your ideas in a safe space as it serves as a substitute for talking to a trusted friend. Here are some reasons why journaling could be the best way for you to build a relationship with yourself:
Journaling can help you track your progress and stages in life as an individual. What better way to know and build a relationship with yourself if not to keep track record of what you are doing and how it influences your growth? You get to know yourself better and continue to do the things that make you improve. It also gives you a self-esteem boost as you can see the challenges you've overcome and how far you've come.
Writing in a journal also helps to relieve stress and anxiety, and provides order in this chaotic world.
5. See a therapist
Seeing a therapist is also a form of self-care. If you’re struggling to improve your relationship with yourself, remember that you can always reach out to a therapist to ask for help. Therapy can help you identify areas where you feel stuck or have harmful habits in building a relationship with yourself.
If you will like to reach out to a therapist or a life coach, TheJMore Counseling&Consulting is your best bet. Click here to learn more and book a free 10mins phone/video consultation.
Building a solid relationship with yourself is important for maintaining your mental health and your relationship with other people. This is why emphasis is placed on factors like self-care, acknowledging your feelings, keeping a journal and even seeing a therapist so that you can be in a good state of mind.