I hope you have enjoyed your weekend! This week I will focus on the area of Love and Relationships. Ultimately this part of our lives is grounded in social support.
Social support is incredibly important to succeed in creating optimal health. Studies show that perceived social support and connection with loved ones influences the success rate of adopting health behaviours; if we have a strong and supportive network of family and friends we are more likely to succeed when changing our lifestyle. I have a lot of clients that come to me ready to make changes and find social outings, and family members sabotage their success. In addition, they also experience guilt around not ‘fitting in’ to their usual peer group.
Connecting with friends and family can be easy if we have a good mindset and understanding of ourselves in relationships. My addiction to sugar began when I was a little 4 year old girl. For a period of my life my family lived in the UK where playing the penny machine was a hobby of mine. With my winnings I would go to the lolly shop and buy my mother black cats. When I would hand the black cats over to my mum she would look at me with the most amazing loving eyes. The perception I had was my mother loved me because of sugar, this was how we connected. This behaviour manifested into cooking sugar laden cakes, biscuits and slices for my family every Sunday. It was a ritual connected with love and food.
The reason why I am telling you this story is because if I were to ever achieve my optimal health love and sugar needed to be disconnected. I had to have strong, healthy relationships that are present, connected, loving, intimate, safe, and so forth without food being involved. My baby steps toward a supportive community was meeting like-minded healthy friends, ones that supported my changes, understood them and were genuinely happy for me. In my bagua map I placed pictures of friendships, pairs of birds, family and connection. I also wrote a story of exactly how I feel with my friends, what we do, how we connect and the activities we do together. This creates our thoughts processes to start focusing and looking for what we want more of in our lives.
Take a moment and think of your relationships with friends and family. How do you want these to feel? How do they support you? Write down your optimal philosophy of social support and create your intention.