We’re on a mission to provide an affordable channel to boost your mental health. So, each week, we’re checking in with our community to see how they’re working on their mental health and their goal towards happiness. We invited to Rose Cecchetto, Relationship Coach to share you some tip to build a healthy relationship.
Q: “I’m feeling very lost after a relationship breakdown. It wasn’t even a real relationship which I think is why I feel my pain isn’t valid. I want to learn how to have healthy relationships.”
A: “In my experience, the only way to get over a broken heart is to fall in love with yourself first. Building a good relationship with yourself is truly important in order to create healthy relationships. My motto is, “you attract who you become, so become the person you want to attract”. Once you believe in yourself, you will be able to start an interview process to find a potential partner. When you find a potential partner, who is worthy of your love, give yourself at least two years to get to know each other. This is what I call the “honeymoon stage”.
During the honeymoon stage you will be blinded by passionate love. It will be difficult to see your partner’s flaws and difficult for them to see yours. You will both be in this whirlwind of superficial love.
After the two-year period, the honeymoon stage starts to fade. This is where you decide whether you can accept your partner’s flaws. If you decide the relationship is worth continuing, you can start working towards a future together. You will now understand the meaning of “true love”.
Don’t ever doubt your beautiful soul. Your feelings are always valid. Your gut will always lead you in the right direction, you just need to listen.
Here are some exercises that help you build a healthy relationship:
Self-help exercise #1: Affirmations
How can you start believing in yourself? Try using affirmations to help you on your self-acceptance/self love journey.
Make 2 columns on a sheet of paper. Call the first column “negative beliefs about myself” and call the second column “Affirmations”.
Write down 5 negative beliefs you hold about yourself in the first column. Now in the second column implement an affirmation to confront the negative belief. For example:
Negative thought: “I am different”. Affirmation: “My uniqueness is my blessing”
Negative thought: “I’m afraid of failure” Affirmation: “Fear of failure does not control me”
Try this exercise. When those negative thoughts creep up, read your list to remind yourself that you are enough.
Self-help exercise #2: Reframing Critical Self-Talk
Instructions: We are often very hard on ourselves unnecessarily. Most likely we would not speak to someone that we love the way that we speak to ourselves. Changing critical self-talk can be a challenge, but with motivation and practice, it can be done. The following two steps can help reduce self-criticism and cultivate a more compassionate relationship with the self.
Step 1: Increase awareness of self-criticism
In the upcoming week, try to become aware of self-critical talk as much as possible. When you notice that you are being self-critical:
- Pause and take three deep breaths.
- Notice what you say to yourself when you fail or have made a mistake.
- Are there key phrases that you say to yourself?
- What is the tone of your voice when talking to yourself?
Step 2: Take action, soften your critical voice
- After noticing self-critical talk, think about what you would say to a loved one in the same situation.
- Now use these words to rephrase what you say to yourself.
- Also pay attention to the tone of voice. How would you like to talk to yourself? Practice the tone that you want to use with yourself in the times when you are feeling great about yourself.
- Identify what you are criticizing yourself for. The inner critic can provide useful feedback but most often the way this feedback is presented is far from constructive. Try to take a “learning stance”: What can I learn from this feedback? How can I talk to myself as I would a young child who is learning about this for the first time? How can I use the inner critic’s feedback in a more motivating and constructive way?
Self-help Exercise #3: Brainstorming
Help finding your future potential Partner:
- Get yourself a pen and paper and draw a line down the middle. Label one side ‘Likes’, and the other side ‘Dislikes’
- Set an intention for a clear heart and mind and meditate for 5-15 minutes. This will allow you to gain access to all the information necessary to carry out a proper investigation.
- Starting with the oldest relationship; think about all the things you really liked about the relationship and the other person, and write those things down in the ‘Likes’ column. Without prejudice or resentment, think about the things you didn’t like about the relationship or the other person, and write them in the ‘Dislikes’ column. Make sure that you stay objective. Sometimes there are things we find we don’t like about our past relationships because we weren’t being completely true and authentic to ourselves. Things that occur because of our inability to be true and authentic can look like the fault of the other person, so it’s important to stay objective and only focus on the things that had to do with the other person.
- Do this for EVERY romantic relationship you’ve ever had. The only caveat to this would be relationships where you may have suffered from unresolved trauma or abuse. Those would be important to leave alone until you’re able to heal that part of your life.
- If you remained unbiased and objective, you’ll find that the ‘Likes’ column is much longer than the ‘Dislikes’ column.
- Now, turn the page and think back to all of your previous relationships. This time, write down all the things that you are resentful about. Because you were unbiased and objective about the items in the ‘Dislikes’ column, you’ll be able to come up with the items that have to do with you, and where you’ll need to do the inner work necessary to overcome in your next relationship. This step is extremely important because we can sometimes have blind spots related to the things we say and do, and to the thought patterns we have that can contribute to our unsuccessful relationships. It’s not about playing the blame game, but recognising our roles in unsuccessful relationships. If we can be made aware of these blind spots, we can work to actively overcome them.
Now that you have a healthy relationship with yourself by practicing self-love, you are now ready to begin the interview process for your next potential partner. You can use the above list to ensure they possess the qualities you are looking for and they do not possess the qualities you are not looking for.” – Rose Cecchetto, Relationship Coach
If you’re struggling with finding your potential partner, feel free to reach out Rose via Instagram.