We’ve all heard of this popular saying: Taking care of yourself is important. However, what we don’t realize is that when you take care of yourself, you also taking care of your relationships. Self- care strengthens bonds. In fact, many partners see their better half in a whole new light once they start loving and respecting themselves. You treat others around you with kindness, so why not extend that same kindness and compassion to yourself?

Also, have you heard of the old adage, ‘You can’t give what you don’t have’ and ‘You cannot pour from an empty cup.’ Well, that’s exactly what happens when you shower yourself with love, affection and care. Here are some of the benefits that ensue from self-care:

You have more to give in a relationship

Once you’re brimming with self-love, only then can you give love, energy and care to your family, friends and community. Have you ever heard of people enjoying the company of a depressed or stressed person? In actuality, people are attracted to partners who are happy, have high self-esteem and self-respect. And the happier you are and the more you love yourself, the more love you have to give others. Your cup will be full and it will be easy to pour some of that love onto others.

You’re in touch with your own feelings

Self-care requires that you listen to your physical, emotional and mental needs. Which means that you must be in touch with your emotions and listen to what your body and mind need. When you’re more in touch with your own feelings, it is easier to show love and care to others. Moreover, being tuned in to your own feelings makes you more empathetic. And empathy is an important tool to have – not just in relationships, but also as a human being.

Furthermore, the more emotionally aware you are of your own feelings, the more emotionally aware you will be of your partner’s feelings in your relationship. You will start to notice your partner’s feelings more easily when you listen to your own feelings. Emotional awareness makes it easier for you to deal with problems in your relationship. It becomes easier to navigate the murky waters of a relationship when you understand yours and your partner’s feelings better.

You avoid projecting your uncomfortable emotions on to others

To be honest, when we stop taking care of ourselves and putting our needs first, a slew of uncomfortable emotions creep in. For example, if your mind is demanding some time off from your hectic schedule but you choose not to listen to it, inevitably, stress will become an intrinsic part of your life. Before long, you will start to unload that stress unto others. And no one likes to hang out with a perpetually stressed person.

When we are anxious, sad, hurt or angry, we tend to, sometimes unknowingly, project those feelings onto others. When we listen to what our mind and body needs, and fulfill those needs, we tend to be happier, relaxed and more energetic.

You will be less needy and demanding of your partner

Unfortunately, many people place their happiness solely on their wife or husband. The minute their spouse showers them with attention and love, they are happy. Conversely, if they don’t, they are unhappy.

When your happiness depends exclusively on how much love your partner showers on you, you will come across as an emotionally needy and demanding person. It also means putting a lot of pressure on one person for your happiness. Can you imagine the pressure he or she feels that they are solely responsible for your happiness?

Worse still, anything your partner does for you won’t be enough.

When you take care of yourself, you will be less dependent on others for your happiness. You will start to make your happiness a priority and not just some after-thought.

Having trouble focusing on yourself? Is self-care difficult for you? Feel free to contact Orly Gueron a Licensed marriage and family therapist and relationship specialist in Aventura, FL!