Sex Relationships

Gemma McCaw on fixing relationship difficulties

Gemma McCaw's advice on how to build stronger bonds by talking it out!

By Gemma McCaw

Former Black Sticks captain Gemma McCaw has made a career out of being fit and healthy, so she knows a thing or two about wellness. Each week Gemma shares her tips on how to live healthier, from getting started on your fitness to how to increase your water intake. This week she gives her advice on how to work through relationship difficulties.

Effective communication is one of the best ways to nourish your relationships. We are all hardwired to connect with others and it’s in these micro-moments of relating that we feel love.

Research suggests that strong, supportive relationships are key to our overall wellbeing and happiness. Sometimes when life throws us challenges, there is a tendency to withdraw and disconnect from those around you. But in order to really propel ourselves through the tough times, we must invest in our loved ones, drawing strength from our family and friends.

Read on for 5 tips on talking through issues with your partner.

Stick to your word

Have integrity and do what you say you will do, even when no-one is watching. In order to build happy, healthy and long-lasting connections, make sure you stick to your word – even if that means having a difficult conversation with someone you love. This is better than over-promising and under-delivering.

Be present and be positive

Relationships are package deals, so don’t just focus on the bad! Take time to also appreciate the good. When we focus on someone’s positive qualities, it enhances feelings of gratitude and helps us to build strong, supportive relationships.

Share the good news

Research suggests that sharing in the successes and achievements of others is just as powerful as being there for them in challenging times. Take notice of how you respond to good news – being interested and responding actively helps to create more positive emotions for both of you.

Listen to others!

In the wise words of the famous Dalai Lama, “When you talk, you’re only repeating what you already know. But if you listen, you may learn something new.” Actively listening, with body language that indicates you are engaged, will cultivate a stronger bond.

Quality time

Family and romantic ties are important, but don’t forget to also make time for social relationships. Heading outdoors is a great way to bond with friends without the distractions of everyday life. Take a bike ride or a long walk while immersing yourselves in nature and you’ll find you will share wonderful moments absorbed in deep conversation. Equally, you can be just as happy sharing the moment in silence – no words needed, just a quiet and mutual appreciation of each other.

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