Welcome to the Healthy and Happy Relationship blog.
Why “Healthy and Happy” and not “Happy and Healthy” ?
In order to have happy relationships and happy lives, we have to be willing to do the things that create “Happy.” In other words, you have to start with healthy so that you can be happy. One of the great things about the field of human development and the study of human beings is that we have the science that shows us what it takes to be healthy and happy. It’s not a mystery. It’s not about being lucky enough to have it –or not. It’s about knowing what it takes and being willing to do that.
So, what does it take?
Creating a healthy and happy relationship takes educating yourselves about what is required to have your life and your relationships run well, and then being able and willing to do those things. The really great thing is, if we are willing, then we are able to enjoy or reap the benefits of happy and fulfilling individual lives and relationships.
There are 7 main principles that the Heathy and Happy program is built on.
- Resource Management
- Rewiring the Brain
- Conflict Resolution
- Healthy Sexuality
This month we are going to highlight Resource Management.
The Healthy and Happy framework begins with Resource Management because, quite frankly, change is hard. It takes effort to be able to implement the things that are required to be able to be healthy and happy, and many of those things are counterintuitive to the way that most of us have learned to think and behave. We all need sufficient resources to be able to fuel that effort.
Think about it. No matter how great of a car you might have, if you don’t have the resources or the fuel to run it, the car will do you no good. It’s just untapped potential. Physiologically, we human beings, also need fuel to run well. Our brains require resources in order to produce the necessary neurotransmitters that keep our personal and relational systems working well.
Each one of us has an emotional reservoir of resources that we function on, and as we go throughout the day, things happen that drain us of our resources. Some of those drains are big, and some of them are small. If you have you ever stepped into a pond or reservoir, you’ll know that at the bottom is a yucky, muddy sludge. When we get down to the bottom of our reservoir, that metaphorical mud is what we have to function on. I call this “Suck’n Mud,” and it happens as a normal part of life. It is up to us to establish and maintain a healthy daily routine that incorporates lots of effective activities that fill our own personal reservoirs daily in order to have enough resources to function well in our lives and in our relationships.
Fillers: A Paradigm Shift
Everything that we do requires an outlay of energy, whether it’s exercising, going to work, playing with your kids, reading a book, watching tv, going for a hike, running an errand… everything we do requires an outlay of energy. Many times, we inaccurately tend to think about filling up our resources once everything else is done. If we happen to have enough time or energy at the end of the day or at the end of the week, then we’ll exercise or go out on a date or do something fun. Even though most of us think that way, it’s really a backward way of thinking. The paradigm shift that I really want to invite you to make is to recognize that you can’t give what you don’t have. You need to do the things to fill the tank so that you can do the things you want to do, not as a last resort when all of your responsibilities are taken care of.
Three of the most effective fillers are moderate exercise, proper nutrition, and adequate sleep.
In my own personal life, I live the reality of this daily. My job requires that I have a lot of energy to able to give as I work intimately with people, trying to help them make changes in their lives and obtain the goals that they have. I can’t give what I don’t have, so I make sure to proactively structure my days and weeks to purposely create fillers in my life.
I normally start my workday at 7:00. After a couple of sessions with people, I typically will go exercise and get filled back up. That break really works to fuel the rest of my day. Sometimes, if I’m really organized, I’ll try to do another kind of filler in the afternoon to boost.
I also plan my day nutritionally. I bring my food to work, and I structure my nutrition in ways to try to give my brain what it needs to get through the day as well.
The latest research shows that we need 8.5 hours of uninterrupted sleep. When possible, I try to be in bed by 10:00, so I can get enough sleep.
I almost never miss getting my daily fillers in because I depend so heavily on them. Sometimes, however, life gets in the way, and I definitely feel the consequences of it. Last week, I was trying to implement some new things, and there were two days that I didn’t exercise. At the end of the day, those days were heavier than how I normally feel. You would probably think I’m a little bit crazy if you looked at all of the fillers that I depend on to be able to run my life as haphazardly as I do run it. I wouldn’t be able to do nearly what I do without the fuel to run that.
The definition of a filler is anything you do that leaves you better for having done it. I have listed three of the most effective fillers here. What else could qualify as a filler? Take a look at what you are currently doing to fill up each day. i challenge you to make sure you are doing at least three personal fillers each day so that you are better able to contribute to the important relationships in your life.