It is now proven that a significant number of children are not ready to start school with the social and intellectual skills they require because parents and careers are in some ways neglecting those ‘early year relationships’ in favour of spending too much time concentrating on smartphones and gadgets.
And it’s not just children who are losing out, these days we rely more and more on smartphones and gadgets to interact, rather than actually talking to each other, which is building barriers and walls between relationships at all life stages and in all environments, including at work.
This can cause loneliness, isolation and a lack of self confidence. And in turn can help bring on more mental health and wellbeing issues.
We value relationships so why do we neglect them?
People who are more socially connected to family, friends and the community are happier, physically healthier and live longer with fewer mental health problems.
In many aspects of life, from diet to exercise, we don’t pay enough attention to what we know will help our wellbeing – and relationships are NO different.
Relationships help to validate who we are and increase our self esteem and self confidence.
So it doesn’t matter what it’s about, start a conversation with someone you have a relationship with and you may begin to smile on the inside as well as the outside.
Here’s some tips to start that conversation:
- Chat to at least one person everyday and make a positive conversation
- Meet up more regularly with friends and family
- Leave your phone on silent and don’t look at it while you’re with friends and family
- Try to listen and give 5 minutes to someone who wants a chat
- Go for a coffee and a chat – laugh on your work break
This blog has been compiled during Mental Health Awareness Week 2016, where the theme is Relationships, by Fran Cowling, Counsellor and Psychotherapist at Central Health