How To Lean On Your Loved Ones To Boost Your Mental Health?

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People are social beings by nature. We need to feel supported, loved and be part of a group. When we are interacting with other people with whom we have healthy relationships, it usually gives us peace and joy.

In that sense, leaning on your loved ones is important to boost your mental health. And being able to count on them in difficult times helps us feel better about ourselves, avoiding feelings of loneliness and sadness.

However, it is not an easy task. Telling our problems and needs to our environment makes us vulnerable, and we can be harmed depending on their responses.. For this reason, in this article I bring you a series of tips that you should take into account and some guidelines in order to lean on your loved ones to enhance your mental health.

What should you keep in mind before leaning on your loved ones?

Despite the importance of supporting your loved ones, we must not forget that sometimes it is complicated. Often, it is our own loved ones or ourselves who make it difficult to support each other, whether because of how we are, how we express ourselves, or what our relationship is like..

Therefore, it is relevant that you take into account certain characteristics of relationships and communication skills. They can help you find and achieve the right relationships, and thus be able to rely on your loved ones to enhance your mental health.

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1. What toxic and healthy relationships are like

The first thing you should know are the characteristics of toxic relationships and healthy relationships. On the one hand, in toxic relationships there is a strong fear of abandonment, manipulation, aggressiveness, passivity, excessive complacency… A good relationship cannot be based on fear, resentment, sadness or guilt.. On the other hand, healthy relationships have a series of characteristics, which in this case are essential for the relationship to be considered quality:

Once you know the characteristics of both types of relationships, analyze yours and ask yourself: Which of the descriptions does the relationship you are thinking about fit into? How does this person make you feel? Only you can know. Keep in mind that the fact that the relationship is toxic does not mean that you are both toxic, but rather that when it comes to interacting you are not doing it in the best way and you are hurting each other.

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2. What is assertiveness

One of the most fundamental aspects in any relationship is communication. There are four types of ways to communicate: aggressive, passive, passive-aggressive and assertive. Only the last one is ideal, because it is the only one that allows you to communicate your needs, opinions and desires in a clear and direct way, without attacking or offending anyone.. However, at the same time, it is the least given, since it is especially difficult.

If we normally communicate in an aggressive, passive or passive-aggressive way, it is because we are not able to manage our emotions in any other way (anger, fear or guilt, for example), and it is easier for us to express ourselves that way. However, to communicate effectively, we must learn to manage assertiveness and leave behind passivity-complacency and aggressiveness-manipulation.

3. The importance of limits

Boundaries are necessary in all types of social relationships to make them healthy and stable. They allow us to feel safe in the relationship, give us the freedom to be ourselves, which improves our self-esteem, and ensures that our expectations and needs are respected.

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In a relationship in which there are no limits, there are no impediments for each person to do what they want, even at the expense of the other person’s well-being. Without limits we cannot know each other’s needs in the relationship, so even if we want to respect the other person, we can transgress their space.. Therefore, it is always important to explicitly express our limits and not take them for granted.

How can you lean on your loved ones to boost your mental health?

Once you know the importance of leaning on your loved ones to enhance your mental health and the relevant characteristics to take into account to achieve a healthy relationship, you can take the step. And how can you do it? I’ll tell you below how you can lean on your loved ones.

1. Set limits through assertiveness

The first step is to put into practice what I described before. In order to have a healthy relationship in which you feel free to express yourself without fear, you need to set clear and defined boundaries.. To do this, you must express your needs assertively, through guidelines such as:

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2. Seek to rely on someone you trust who will understand you

Unfortunately, having a healthy relationship and setting boundaries does not always guarantee that your loved ones will know how to support you. Many times people tend to give advice, from our own perspective, but without putting ourselves in the other person’s shoes.. In this way, these tips often do not fit with what we need or with the real situation.

Therefore, I recommend that you first try to rely on those people who you know are empathetic, who will listen to you actively and who will know how to help you based on your own needs. It can be a friend, your partner or a family member, think about who you think best fits what you need.

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3. Listen to their advice too

One of the main ways to feel better about a problem is to vent to our loved ones. Just the act of saying out loud what happens to us gives it order in our heads and helps us see it more clearly. If we add to that that at that moment we feel understood and supported by our loved ones, it makes us feel even better.

However, we must keep in mind that sometimes this is not enough to make our discomfort disappear. No matter how much we talk about it and vent, we do not solve the source of the problem. Besides, If you never try to resolve the situation, the people around you may feel helpless and have a harder time being willing to listen to you..

It’s like if we have a leak and we put a bucket underneath it. Emptying the bucket every so often can help it from overflowing and that’s fine, but if we fix the leak, it would be even better. In that sense, I suggest that you listen to what your loved ones tell you, they can see the problem from the outside, which gives them a perspective that allows them to observe it better.

Is there any advice that is repeated among those who have supported you? Is there one that you think might fit the bill to solve the problem? If so, try putting it into practice. It will help you resolve the situation and, in addition, the people who have advised you will feel more competent and will be even more willing to listen to you and help you.

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