The importance of communication in a healthy life…
What makes a healthy life? Or perhaps the better question is what makes a happy life? There are lots of answers that could be given to this question, family, friends, money, job, home, though there is one factor that links almost all, if not every, aspect of a happy life together, threading its way through the fabric of our day to day, a factor in which communication is key.
That, of course, is relationships. Those connections between you and those around you, between us and the people in our lives. All of these relationships, no matter how strong or deep, positive or negative, can affect multiple aspects of our lives. Like they say, it’s who you know.
Can you think of a single aspect of your life in which a relationship did not play a part? Starting with the obvious; friends and family play a huge part in our lives, they are an aspect in and of themselves but they also heavily influence other aspects of our lives and our own mental well-being. Whether that is a loving support network or a lack of it, relationships between us and our loved ones play a big role in our happiness and mental health.
Let’s take jobs next. Most people would agree that in terms of careers, knowing people, having connections, is the fastest way in, the quickest route to success. Though, if we think a little deeper the large majority of jobs are all about relationships, from getting the job, to doing it. Think about your current or last job, how many relationships do you think you established there and think about the cause and effect of those relationships on your work experience, happiness and progression. Most of us, in our work, will have to communicate, establish and maintain relationships everyday, and the health of these relationships goes a long way in ensuring job satisfaction.
Finally, think about exactly what your job is, what your company does. It’s highly likely that the company you work for provides a service to other human beings, human beings that are themselves mentally, emotionally and physically influenced by your company or your direct service and therefore you form a sort of relationship.
There are relationships everywhere. Connections to be made and grown, to maintain and flourish, connections that are, in truth, the essence of life. Where would we be without them? What would be the point in doing anything that we do, if there was no one else to share it with? If you were the only person alive on this planet, what would you do and what would you do it for? Think on this for a few minutes and we quickly come to the realisation that relationships, other human beings, are the key to everything in life and hold unparalleled importance in a happy, healthy existence.
So the question then, is how do we create and maintain healthy relationships? Well as I’m sure you know by now, communication is key, when it comes to connections with others, there is nothing more important than communication. A lack of it can ruin any relationship and the right amount of it can see it blossom.
When we take communication down to its basic level, it’s easier to understand it’s value. If we can agree that relationships largely determine our meaning, purpose and happiness in life then we can say the same for communication.
We create, build and maintain relationships through communication, verbal and physical. The tone, intention and emotion of that communication determines the nature of the relationship and then that connection has an effect in our lives. Life is built on relationships and relationships are built on communication.
Let’s take an example, as we said earlier, our loved ones play perhaps the biggest role in our happiness. Our relationships with them are a living product of our communication with them. Our relationships with co-workers are the same, as are those with strangers, new acquaintances and old friends. All these connections that we have established and that we are establishing, massively influence our lives, and communication is the most important factor in determining whether these relationships are good or bad.
So, it is vital that we ensure we are communicating enough and communicating well. This involves developing our self expression and a taste for the truth.
How often do you express yourself and how do you do it? How often do you tell your family and friends how you’re feeling or what you’re thinking? Do you speak to people when you have a problem or do you bottle it up inside? Do you listen and respond to others when they are telling you how they feel? Do you vent in a healthy way or do you dump all of your complaints on one person?
The answers to these questions play a key role in healthy communication. It is important that we express how we are feeling with enough regularity, in a healthy manner, to the people that care about us. It is important that we, in turn, listen to them when they are telling us how they are doing. Most important of all, it is vital that we are honest and tell our truth.
If this is something that you’re not used to or not comfortable with, then start small, one step at a time. You don’t have to unload every problem, every untold truth, just start with one. Notice how it feels to tell that truth, to communicate. Notice how the other person responds, listen to what they say and then notice how you feel afterwards. Most likely, you feel a little bit lighter and mentally healthier.
Before long we start to associate this healthy, light feeling with honesty and communication. From there we never look back.
That is how relationships are developed, with honesty. Offering genuine insight into yourself. You may have experienced a relationship that never got past small talk, if you have you’ll know exactly how it feels to not be able to develop a deeper and genuine connection, because nothing ‘real’ is ever communicated. Small talk is often meaningless and false, therefore does very little to develop a relationship. And it goes without saying that with being honest comes being yourself, being who you are. If you’re pretending to be someone else, it will show and you will find it very difficult to progress past small talk, to a genuine relationship.
So, there’s a few tips for a happy life, built on healthy relationships. Other people really are the be all and end all in life. Ultimately that’s what it all comes down to, our connection with others. So let’s ensure that those connections are strong and healthy.
If you enjoyed this post and think it could benefit someone you know then please share it with them.
Enter your email address below to subscribe to the blog.