Saturday, February 8, 2014

Can Small Town Living Teach Us How to Have Healthy Relationships?

by NativeR 
5 lessons to help forge relationships
I grew up in a very small town- you know, the kind of town where you swap recipes, a head of lettuce for a block of cheese, or work on someone’s truck so you can borrow their lawnmower. Although this quaint upbringing didn’t seem very spectacular whilst in my teenage years, could it have taught me some valuable lessons about healthy relationships?
Lesson #1 – Sharing with the neighbors
If the neighbor comes over to borrow a cup of sugar, the word ‘NO’ never enters a small towner’s brain- this leads me into the sharing aspect of a relationship. Sharing is important whether it’s a bite from your plate, space in the bathroom, or even your time. When in a relationship with someone, it’s important to think “us” instead of me. This lesson tells us to be a little more selfless- and share more with our partner.
Lesson #2- Keeping up with the Joneses’
We have all seen and heard the phrase, “Keeping up with the Joneses’, and maybe have even done it ourselves; Ted Smith bought a new car and so John Brown must as well! Instead of comparing ourselves or watching someone else compare themselves, be happy for that other person. Envy over friends’ goods, life or thoughts will only bring strife in the relationship-instead, think positively. Remember, positive thinking can only do one thing- turn into a positive action for US!
Lesson #3- Keep a smile on
Let’s face it, sometimes we are having a bad day and the person behind the supermarket counter seems like the perfect person to take it out on. However, small town living taught me to always keep a smile on my face, even when things are tough. posted an article about smiling, it actually helps physical health, “There’s a reduction in cortisol, a chemical that indicates stress in the body, and an increase in mood-elevating endorphins.”Besides, when you smile you make people want to be around you- automatically making you feel better!
Lesson #4- Advice from the locals
One of the things about small town living is, even if you don’t know what direction you’re life is going, everyone else does. Sometimes when problems start to occur in life we tend to become a hermit, and even though we may not know what to do, asking for advice from a close friend can help. Asking your friend for some advice about a particular situation can be rewarding the both of you; not only will you get options about the situation and a good shoulder, but your friend will feel better knowing that they helped you- creating an open, honest relationship.
Lesson #5- Take a Hike
In a small town with all the rural areas, taking a walk with someone was easy – and sometimes it was the ONLY thing to do. Studies show that physically fit people have stronger relationships and improved sex lives. Instead of going to the movies, where you know you’re not going to say two words to your partner, try exercising. This of course doesn’t have to be rigorous, maybe a simple stroll around the block- then save a bigger, better walk or hike for the weekend.
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