Giving and receiving love and support makes you healthier and happier. our ability to connect with ourselves and others, is at the root of what makes us sick and what makes us well, what causes sadness and what brings happiness, what makes us suffer and what leads to healing. When we increase the love and intimacy in our lives, we also increase the health, joy, and meaning in our lives.
Top 5 Love & Support Tips
Spend More Time with Friends & Family
Medicine today tends to focus primarily on the physical and mechanistic: drugs and surgery, genes and germs, microbes and molecules. However, there isn’t any other factor in medicine – not diet, not smoking, not exercise, not stress, not genetics, not drugs, not surgery – that has a greater impact on our quality of life, incidence of illness and premature death from all causes than loneliness and isolation.
Identify & Express What are You Feeling
What you are really feeling, not what you believe you ought to feel. Part of the value of quieting your mind with meditation or prayer is that it can help you pay greater attention to what you’re really feeling. Tell the other person directly and clearly what and how you are feeling. Be careful to express your feelings and not your thoughts.
Empathy vs. Sympathy
Empathy is not the same as sympathy. Empathy means listening with compassion — trying to experience and understand what the other person is feeling. Sympathy means feeling sorry for someone, a usually well-intentioned gesture that often creates more distance between people. Acknowledge the other person’s feelings, with empathy, caring and compassion – practice fluent listening.
Fluent listening requires sufficient connection to oneself and to one’s experiences, to know what it feels like to be the other person on the inside. As you listen, it is important to monitor yourself to ensure that you avoid making judgments or criticisms of what the other person is saying.
Your role is to try to understand how it would feel to be where the other person is.
It is often a struggle to be a fluent listener. Oftentimes, people are excellent advice-givers, but it is far more challenging to respond from within by finding and connecting with one’s own similar feelings and experiences.
Group support is the part of the comprehensive lifestyle change program that allows individuals participating in the program to connect with each other. For those men and women who have forgotten the power of connection or perhaps never had the “techniques” required to create it for themselves, group support is a tool to this end. What is learned in these groups is available to all. It taps into the healing power of connection that can result in emotional and spiritual transformations