What are simple ways we can create a lifetime of good health?
Over the past few weeks we've looked at the positive benefits of smiling, consuming less than 25 grams of sugar per day, having vitamin D3 levels at a minimum of 40 to 60 ng/ml, walking 10,000 steps per day, learning how to focus your mind, along with getting adequate sleep, especially if you are a night owl or live with a night owl. All of these are effective, low-costs way to improve your health and your family's health. We'll finish with a discussion of the importance of having the right tools to building robust relationships. Research shows that we are happier and healthier when we have strong connections to our community of family and friends.
Building community-a network of mutual support consisting of family and friends-is difficult to do if you lack vital relationship building tools and skills.
A valuable book by Karren Garrity is appropriately named, The Tool Box: Tricks of the Trade for Raising Teenagers. Even though Garrity wrote this book to help those working with teens, the relationship building advice works for three-year-olds or 103-year-olds.
Garrity uses the toolbox theme with humor:
The Mechanic: Parents' rights and responsibilities
Nuts and Bolts: Connecting by listening and communicating
The Level: Encouraging emotional stability through emotional literacy
The Wrench: Dealing with conflict
3 in 1 oil: Lubricating with problem solving and compromise
Measuring Tape: Determining trust
The Screwdriver: Adjusting discipline
Glue: Keeping it all together
Voltage Meter: Reading danger signs
The Tool Belt: Putting it all together
Our connections to family and friends are dependent on possessing a set of tools, along with the skills to use them. Relationship building is a long-term daily process that requires commitment. We can only get better when we work to put together our tool belt, and use those tools frequently.
Learning to listen and ask questions to gain understanding of another person's needs and desires are indeed the nuts and bolts of our relationships. Healthy relationships start with the simple act of learning how to listen.
Mad, sad, bad and glad. A majority of people only use those four words to describe how they are feeling. There are thousands of words to help us gain clarity about how we are reacting to situations. This is important because our negative emotions-mad, sad, bad-indicate that we have an unmet physical or psychological need. Research shows that enlarging our emotional vocabulary increases our ability to connect to others, as well as be responsible for our personal well-being. We need to know how to use that "level" of emotional stability in our tool box.
Life is problems. We need to be effective problem solvers and know how to get others involved in the problem solving process. Problem solving allows us to build stronger relationships within our community. When we learn to use that "3 in 1 oil" we lubricate the working parts of our relationships.
Here's to a healthy life with strong relationships built with your own set of tools.
Remember to watch the sugar and vitamin D levels. Walk. Get lots of sleep. Use your mind to focus your mind. Smile and the world smiles with you. And keep your tools sharp!