It’s Sunday morning, and I’ve just returned home from a community meeting where I freely gave some of my time.
It felt really good!
Now, you may be wondering;
"How can it feel good to willingly give up your free time on a weekend?!”
The work by Martin Seligman on Positive Psychology has found that relationships are critical to our wellbeing.
Additionally, research shows that relationships take many forms, and are a crucial element in our longevity.
But what forms are there? And how can they benefit your overall wellbeing?
1. The Casual Connection
Regularly interacting with a familiar face is good. The light-hearted chat at the coffee shop with the barista and patrons will lift your mood, and it's an easy way to connect and interact with others.
Aha, this is why I frequent Saki’s Coffee Ministry regularly in Malvern East.
Community has many forms - such as a sporting team, book club, school community board, walking group, or an active local neighborhood. Being part of a group with similar interests keeps you engaged and well.
My Tidal Flow yoga community is incredible; walking into a class and seeing familiar smiles brings me so much warmth.
3. Accomplishment Partners
Being part of something bigger than ourselves brings meaning and a sense of achievement. It's often not the completion of a task, but the work towards the task and the relationships you form along the way that make you feel good.
Knowing your role in working with others builds relationships and makes us feel valued. Finding this within your career will keep you motivated when times are tough.
My clients allow me to be part of something much bigger.
Where are you contributing without expecting much in return?
Giving up your time for others results in a sense of contribution. This contribution leads to a sense of giving, which has a more significant positive effect than receiving.
Swinburne University gave me the gift of education, and my current pro-Bono work there is very meaningful.
Being part of a social group that regularly interacts brings happiness. Why? Because there’s no better feeling than others accepting who you are and allowing you to be yourself. In addition, laughing with others makes you feel good.
My monthly catch-up and twice-yearly trip away with the boys, many of whom I have known for 30+ years, are so good for my soul.
Family today takes many forms. Having others to love and to be loved is a core element of our being.
Investing time in your family to listen, form deep relationships, and be non-judgmental, can serve you well in the future when challenges arise.
My wife Nicole, in being so accepting and supportive of me, has enabled our family to flourish.
Sometimes circumstances in our lives leave certain types of relationships neglected.
Many of us looked forward to the casual in-person connection during the pandemic - the community cafes were heaving with people who chatted while they waited and savoured their beverages.
Opportunities for fostering meaningful relationships can be found in each day.
How are you maintaining or building the relationships you need?