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Unlock the Power of Connection: Benefits of Relational Health




 


It’s time to restore! 

 

 

Relationships are essential to your health.  Your relationships affect your thoughts, emotions, physical, and spiritual health. Connection is difficult to master because you are not the only one involved!  It takes a lot of skill to navigate relational reactions within yourself. And, it is unavoidable because others will continually impact you.  

 

The only relationship that relies completely on you is your relationship to yourself. Yes, you have a relationship with yourself whether you realize it or not.  You talk to yourself in a certain way, have feelings toward yourself, and react to yourself every day.  Yet how you treat yourself is informed by your experience of other relationships in your lifetime.   

 

The same goes with how you experience connection with God. Scripture explains that Jesus joined humanity for the sake of showing the way God relates. There are complexities of grace and truth expressed through the gospel stories that are meant to help you come closer to God. Instead of hearing in that tone, you might be hearing the voice of God through painful, harsh, or controlling relational experiences with people throughout your life.  

 

A relationship describes your experience of connecting or attachment.  Attachment to others can be various levels of bonding with one person or a group. Your attachments include friends, family, work environments, cultures, churches, mentors, and mentees. Sometimes, this can be very positive, and other times, the connection can cause heartache and all kinds of health issues.   

 

Power dynamics in relationships are an area that can cause a lot of pain. You may not even realize that someone is in a position of power over you, or that you are in a position of power over someone else. It can become sticky when you or someone else refuse to face or take responsibility for power dynamics in relationships. Other times it is not the position of power, but personal manipulation and abuses people aggressively exert against you. 

 

Have you ever felt sick to your stomach because of some betrayal or loss in a relationship?  When finding out a loved one has died, you might feel dizziness, loss of appetite, brain fog, a rush of adrenaline or many other physical sensations.  

 

On the other hand, when you and another decide to commit to each other in a sacred way, you can feel a sense of calm and peace in your body.  You might experience hopefulness or reassurance that helps you feel confident and strong.  When you join a team or feel like you belong to something you really believe in, you might feel energized and powerful. 

 

Relational tension, stress, and discord show up in the body and emotions.  Relational contentment and security show up in the body and emotions as well.  Emotions form reactions in the body to relational quality around you all day long.  

 

Whether you are at work, alone, or in a family and friend setting, your emotions are in tune with what is going on between you and others.  Old experiences can show up in present circumstances. This could look like a keen sense of others and how to navigate through connection. It could also look like trauma responses, fear, and anxiety that distort or shade current events inaccurately. 

RESTORATIVE PRACTICE 

ADDITIONAL SUPPORT 

 

Some relationships you might be great at, while others do not come as easy.  Maybe you were great at being a parent to a newborn, but your teens leave you questioning yourself.  Maybe you are great with your teenagers but with your four year old you have lost your ability to get through the day without a breakdown!  Your relationship with your kids might be great, but marriage is more challenging than you expected.  Maybe your marriage has always been great, but now one of you is growing or changing and you need to learn how to change together.  Have you had great friendships but cannot get along with your family or siblings?   

 

In more complex and harmful dynamics, you might be dealing with a pattern of painful and toxic relational issues. You might not realize how much your relationships have deteriorated your health. Maybe you are aware of the negative impact but don’t know how to work it out. A death or an addition in the family can bring challenges you are not prepared to navigate well.   

 

We all need additional support to navigate some of the more challenging aspects of relationships. Some relational connections involve dynamics you need to find more information and understanding about.  You can find podcasts on just about any relational subject, books, courses, retreats, the options are endless! And the biggest, most personal resource is finding a skilled professional to help you figure out issues in your relational connections and how to heal through them. 

 

Think of it like going to anyone in the medical profession.  We go to health professionals including the dentist, physician, and eye doctor for regular check ups.  At milestone ages, it is time to seek routine specialized screenings for things like heart issues and colon, prostate, or breast cancers.  There are markers throughout life that we have come to understand as normal and essential check ups for our overall well being. 

 

The same is true for relationships!  Most people did not go to school and take any kind of relational science courses.  Without knowledge and training, you have no idea how to function in the most effective ways relationally.  You have deeply ingrained ways of naturally reacting to people that might cause more harm than good in relationships.  People typically react to try and get needs met. What comes naturally is not helpful in all situations. Here are so don’ts and dos to think about. 

 

  • Don't be embarrassed by struggling because each relationship is complex and unique 

  • Don't be discouraged by the work, in many cases relationships can change for the better when you are willing to work hard 

  • Don't be afraid to go on a search for a good professional or other resources  

  • Don't be afraid to try a new professional or ask for different approaches if you feel stagnant with someone you are already working with professionally 

 

 

  • Do continue to keep your faith up and pray for healing 

  • Do keep reading materials, listening to podcasts 

  • Do work on yourself, so much health can come from within you regardless of others

  • Do normalize the need and benefit of receiving support

  • Do keep searching for a professional who works for you

  • Do establish healthy boundaries and adjust them as needed 

 

Cheers to growing in relational health! 



 

 

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