THE LANGUAGE OF LOVE
At GROUND Wellbeing, we believe that taking care of our health and well-being should be a top priority, not just a luxury. With Valentine's Day approaching, it's a good time to reflect on how we show love and affection to the important people in our lives, including ourselves. Instead of feeling burdened by the societal expectations of Valentine's Day, let's focus on finding meaningful ways to express our love and appreciation for ourselves and those we care about.
Connection is an integral part of our health and wellbeing. In fact one Harvard study, almost 80 years old, has proved that embracing community helps us live longer, and be happier. Robert Waldinger, director of this study, said that “Taking care of your body is important, but tending to your relationships is a form of self-care too. That, I think, is the revelation.” At GROUND, we couldn’t agree more.
Nurturing deep connections and building meaningful relationships requires two-way communication as its foundation. While some individuals may feel more adept in verbal communication, it's important to remember that it's not the only method of expressing love and creating deeper bonds in our relationships. Let’s look at some of the ways in which we can communicate love and in doing so create deeper connections in our lives.
WORDS ARE SACRED
Effective communication is crucial for building and strengthening relationships. Whether through written or spoken expressions, sharing our thoughts and emotions helps deepen our connections with others. However, during stressful times, we may struggle to express ourselves effectively. While these conversations may be a daunting experience in vulnerability, the rewards will be far greater than any gift we can purchase. That being said, it's important to not only use words, but also to demonstrate through our actions that we truly mean what we say.
THE POWER OF TOUCH
Just the simple, yet very powerful act of touch seems to boost oxytocin release, a chemical that is associated with trust and relationship building. Acts such as massaging, cuddling, engaging in physical intimacy, or embracing someone triggers the release of this hormone that is often referred to as the “love hormone” or “cuddle chemical.” While going to a massage therapist is a beautiful experience, where this is not possible, try swapping 10-15 minutes of massage time with a partner, family member, or friend. Spending time with animals also has its benefits in fact cuddling your pet will give you an extra boost of serotonin.
Spending time together is not enough, we must find ways to be mindfully present with each other. While this is not possible or feasible to do in our every waking moment but rather something we can prioritise little pockets of time throughout our days and weeks together. Being in each other's company is not sufficient, it is about coming together for the soul purpose of connection. While socialising is imperative for many aspects of wellness, research has found that spending time with loved ones can even increase serotonin levels. Serotonin helps our body to regulate anxiety and experience happiness. There are countless ways we can incorporate this into daily or weekly life; engaging in a hobby or activity that both people enjoy will further elevate mood and strengthen the bonding experience. Taking a dance class together, listening to your favourite music together in the comfort of your own home, going for a walk or even doing some gardening together these are just some of the ways to boost endorphins but more importantly to deepen the bond between you and your loved ones.
It's crucial for our well-being to feel seen, understood & connected, whether by a partner, friend, family member, or even ourselves. Good communication is key to a healthy relationship. Valentine's Day can serve as a reminder to reflect on this and make changes if needed, but it's the day-to-day actions that truly enhance our well-being.
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