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Health and Wellness

By Monica Thakrar

Deepening Your Connections

Relationships are the crux of life. Healthy, positive relationships can bring a sense of belonging, self-worth and balance. They provide support when we are down, encouragement when we need a boost, and laughter to stay positive through the down times of life. Family, friends and significant others can provide us the support we need to go after our dreams and support us through the times when we think our dreams are unreachable.

Relationships also provide us with an opportunity to give to others and grow in our capacity to love. They create opportunities to be more loving, generous and compassionate with others in our lives and to help others. We are made to be in relationships, but it is not often easy to have the strong, healthy relationships we desire.

To build a strong tie with family, friends, coworkers, neighbors or anyone else in our lives we need to take the time to nurture them. Relationships are like flowers, and we need to spend time taking care of them and providing them water to see them flourish. They are not always easy to build, grow or maintain, but relationships provide a strong foundation for life.

Today, we are often so focused on our careers, making money and keeping up with the Patels that we do not have the time to build the strong, healthy and fulfilling relationships that would give our lives more meaning. We are stressed out and out of balance and, as a result, are missing out on the daily pleasures of spending time with loved ones – nightly dinners at home with the family, fun outings with friends and lunches out with coworkers.

What you put your attention on grows. If you are focused on developing your relationships, they will prosper. Here are some steps to consider as you approach your relationships this fall:

Focus on the positives. You love people in your life for a reason, so continue to focus on those qualities. Instead of harping on people’s negatives tendencies, appreciate the things they do that are positive. Focus on your spouse’s great sense of humor instead of his forgetting to taking out the garbage. Remember the way your mother gives you home-cooked meals as you leave her house instead of the excess advice she may provide. The more you focus on what is positive, loving and wonderful in your relationships, the more you will inspire people to bring out the best in themselves.

Communicate from your heart. Keep the communication lines open. Share your thoughts and feelings with your loved ones in good times and bad. In bad times, people can often either shut down or get into screaming matches, which are both unproductive ways to handle disagreements. Sit down and discuss what is on your mind and then mirror what your loved one is saying back to you – repeating back what you hear – so that you really understand and empathize with his or her point of view. From there, you can come up with a good compromise and a deeper understanding of one another.

Put others first. A great way to deepen your relationships is to think of others and put them first. Giving will make you feel happier while uplifting the person to whom you are giving. Why not make yourself and those around you happier by giving? Just like in the movie Pay It Forward, do something nice for someone else and he or she in turn will do something nice for someone else without expecting anything in return. Do something everyday for someone else and see your relationships get stronger and your own self worth increase.

Spend quality time. It is not only the amount of time you spend with others but the amount of quality time you spend with them. Don’t just sit and watch television together because you might not be engaging in real quality time. Talk about what is important, learn about each other’s lives and share experiences. All of these activities bond you and make the others feel like you are interested in and care about who they are.

Relationships take effort, but you get out of them what you put into them. How are the states of your relationships? Are there any that need some nurturing? Take the time to invest in the people around you, and you will see your connections deepen and your fulfillment in life grow.

Monica Thakrar is a personal life coach, focused on helping clients live a more balanced and joyful life. She uses a holistic approach to personal transformation and offers a free consultation for those who are interested in living to their fullest potential. She can be contacted at or for more information check out her website at

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