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10 Positives of Being in a Long-Distance Relationship

10 Positives of Being in a Long-Distance Relationship

Everyone knows that long-distance relationships are hard work, but here is something you may not know: being in a long-distance relationship—at least for a season—can actually be good for you.

Here are 10 great benefits that can come with long-distance love.

1. You get to know each other very well

When you’re in a long-distance relationship, you have nothing to build your relationship with but words. Recent research suggests that long-distance couples talk less frequently than those who live in the same city, but that their interactions tend to be deeper and more meaningful. Talking at this deep level helps you as a couple get to know each other very well. In the process, you also develop communication skills and habits that will help your relationship in the long run.

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2. You are less likely to confuse lust with love

Attraction in a long-distance relationship tends to be based primarily on a foundation of emotional intimacy and shared values rather than physical intimacy. Being attracted to someone mostly because of the conversations you have (rather than the sex you share) is not an iron-clad guarantee of long-term relationship success, but it certainly helps.

3. You get to road-test your trust

When you are far away from someone you love, it can be difficult to keep your imagination in check. When your partner is out without you and having fun, it can be easy to second-guess them and let jealousy get a foothold in your mind. Being in a long-distance relationship forces you to recognize and confront some of these types of insecurities. It lets you practice trusting and being trustworthy. The confidence and sense of security that you can gain as a result? Priceless.

4. You learn to communicate and resolve conflict well

In a long-distance relationship you have nothing to do most of the time except talk to each other. In the process, you learn to connect deeply and communicate well. No matter how good you are at communicating, however, you and your partner will experience misunderstandings, hurt feelings, and conflict at some point.

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When you’re far apart from each other, it takes even more trust and skill to negotiate these challenges. Couples who learn to address and resolve problems and conflict over distance equip themselves well to deal with future challenges in-person.

5. You really appreciate the time that you do spend together

Seeing each other less frequently helps you fully appreciate the time that you do spend with each other. You learn to savor time together regardless of whether you’re doing something mundane like grocery shopping or living it up at a fancy restaurant. Since feeling grateful is a surefire way to increase your happiness, this sort of appreciation both feels good in the moment and also provides a long-lasting mood boost!

6. You make more memorable moments

When you’re in a long-distance relationship you put more effort into making your time together special—you’re more likely to branch out and stretch to make a moment memorable. Maybe you play tourist in your own town, try a new restaurant, take a trip somewhere romantic, or have a picnic in your own backyard. When you do crazy things or work hard to make a day special, you create moments that carry particular power to shape your memories and flavor your personal story. These vivid memories become important and positive touchstones in your relationship.

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7. You practice being patient

We live in a world where many things come fast and easy. We can send a text or an email and get a reply almost instantly. We can grocery shop online and have it delivered. We can buy instant oatmeal, instant noodles, and instant coffee. Just like decent coffee, however, good relationships require some patience.

Long-distance relationships seem custom-designed to teach patience, and patience is a powerful life skill. Patience helps you tolerate minor frustrations without getting stressed. It enables you take a long-term view of situations and problems. It stabilizes you in the face of life’s challenges. And, trust me, if you ever have children, you will need it in spades. When you are being patient in your long-distance relationship you are not just nurturing love, you are developing your character.

8. You have more time to pursue other passions and interests

I wouldn’t advocate being in a long-distance relationship because it frees up your time, but extra free time can be a silver lining to living far apart from your loved one. Don’t spend every spare minute on Skype with your partner. Instead, use some of your extra time to do things that are fun or fulfilling—read books, work out, do something creative, spend time with other friends. Investing in other passions and relationships isn’t betraying your long-distance lover, it’s making you a more well-rounded, interesting, and happier person.

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9. You develop independence

When you’re on your own most of the time you must learn how to tackle most challenges that daily life can throw at you—from getting your car serviced to making dinner or managing finances. When times feel tough, your partner can offer emotional support but won’t be able to sweep in and fix things for you. Like many other aspects of long-distance love, this rarely feels fun in the moment. You will, however, grow in self-sufficiency and independence. This, in turn, will only make you more attractive to your partner.

10. You cement your commitment

There are no two ways about it—long distance relationships are hard work. Settling down for a Skype date on a Friday night when you’d rather be spending some time snuggling can leave you feeling wistful at best and downright depressed at worst.

But here’s the good thing about hard work: the things we have to work for are often the very things most worth having. Many long-distance couples credit their time apart with helping them see just how much they really did want to be together. Persevering in the face of the distance helped make them even more committed to the relationship.

And after that? Well, if your relationship can survive long distance, it can survive most other things as well. Hopefully, the personal strengths, trust, and communication skills that you develop during your time in a long distance relationship will serve you well as a couple for many years after you have closed the gap.

Featured photo credit: Young people kissing outdoors via shutterstock.com

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Last Updated on October 14, 2020

Had a Bad Day? 7 Ways to Rebound From It and Feel Good Again

Had a Bad Day? 7 Ways to Rebound From It and Feel Good Again

Today didn’t turn out as you planned, but it doesn’t mean you’re weak. It simply means that you’re human, and you’re not bad just because you had a bad day.

“Not everyday is a good day but there is something good in every day.” -Alice Morse Earle

It’s not the end of the world when you find yourself thinking “I had a bad day,” but it can feel like it. You may have had plans that fell apart, experiences that set you back, and interactions that only did harm.

You may have started the day thinking you could take on it all, only to find you could hardly get out of bed. When you have a bad day, you can forget to look at the good.

Sometimes, self-care helps us to remember why we are worth it. It helps us to recharge and reset our mindset. It helps us to know that there are still options and that the day isn’t over yet.

Love yourself today, no matter how hard it’s been. That’s the way to find yourself amidst the hardships you have. That’s how you center yourself and regain focus and live a more meaningful life. Give yourself some credit and compassion.

Here are 7 ways to rebound from a bad day using self-compassion as a tool. If you had a bad day, these are for you!

1. Make a Gratitude List

In a study on gratitude, psychologists Dr. Robert A Emmons and Dr. Michael E. McCullough conducted an experiment where one group of people wrote out gratitude lists for ten weeks while another group wrote about irritations. The study found that the group that wrote about gratitude reported more optimistic mindsets in their lives[1].

Overall, having a gratitude list improved well-being and made one truly grateful by counting the blessings in their lives.

Write a list of what you are grateful for if you had a bad day. Make it as long as you like, but also remember to note why you’re grateful for each thing you write.

What has given you the most joy? What has set you up for better days? Keep a tally of triumphs in mind, especially when you do have the bad days.

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The day doesn’t define you, and you still have things of value that surround you. These could be material things, spiritual connections and experiences, relationships, basic needs, emotional and mental well-being, physical health, progress towards hopes and dreams, or simply being alive.

Here are some other simple ways to practice gratitude.

2. Write in a Journal

Journaling affects your overall mental health, which also affects physical health and aids in the management of stress, depression, anxiety, and more[2].

All you need is a pen and paper, or you could do an online, password-protected journal such as Penzu. The key is to get started and not pressure yourself on how polished or perfect it is. You don’t need to have prior experience to start journal writing. Just start.

Write out everything that is bothering you for 15 minutes. This helps with rumination, processing problems, and can even aid with brainstorming solutions.

However you approach it, you can find patterns of thinking that no longer serve you and start to transform your overall mental state. This will impact all areas of your life and is a great coping skill.

3. Meditate

Meditation can help you overcome negative thought patterns, worrying about the future, dwelling on the past, or struggling to overcome a bad day[3]. It shifts your mentality and helps you focus on the present or any one thing you truly want to focus on.

Here is an example of a meditation you can do:

Get into a comfortable position. Close your eyes. Rest your body, release tension, and unclench your jaw. Tighten and release each muscle group in a body scan for progressive muscle relaxation.

Focus on your breath, taking a few deep breaths. Let your belly expand when you breathe in for diaphragmatic breathing. Empty yourself completely of air, then return to normal breathing.

Next, focus on the idea of self-love and let it erase negative thoughts. Think about the ways you’ve been judging yourself, with the narratives coming up that your mind may create.

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Give yourself unconditional love and release judgment. Take your time meditating on this because you matter. This is particularly important if you had a bad day.

Check out this article for more on how to get started with a meditation practice.

4. Do Child’s Pose

Yoga Outlet says:

“Child’s Pose is a simple way to calm your mind, slow your breath, and restore a feeling of peace and safety. Practicing the pose before bedtime can help to release the worries of the day. Practicing in the morning can you help transition from sleeping to waking.”[4]

When you do Child’s Pose, it can be between difficult positions in yoga, or it can be anytime you feel you need a rest. It helps you recover from difficulties and relax the mind.

It also has the physical health benefits of elongating your back, opening your hips, and helping with digestion[5].

To do Child’s Pose, rest your buttocks back on your feet, knees on the floor. Elongate your body over your knees with both arms extended or tucked back, with head and neck resting on the floor[6].

Had a bad day? Try Child's Pose.

     

    Do this pose as a gift to yourself. You are allowing yourself to heal, rest, get time for yourself, recover, and recharge. When you’ve had a bad day, it’s there waiting for you.

    5. Try Positive Self-Talk

    Engage in positive self-talk. This is essentially choosing your thoughts.

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    When you have a negative thought, such as “I can’t do this,” replace it consciously with the thought “I can do this.” Give yourself positive affirmations to help with this.

    Negative self-talk fits into four general categories: personalizing or blaming yourself, magnifying or only focusing on the negative, catastrophizing or expecting the worst to happen, and polarizing or only seeing back and white[7].

    When you stop blaming yourself for everything and start focusing on the positive, expecting things to work out, and seeing the areas of grey in life, you reverse these negative mindsets and engage in positive self-talk.

    When you speak words of kindness to yourself, your brain responds with a more positive attitude. That attitude will affect everything you do. It’s how you take care of yourself if you had a bad day.

    Check in with yourself to know when you are having negative self-talk. Are you seeing patterns? When did they start to become a problem? Are you able to turn these thoughts around?

    6. Use Coping Skills and Take a Break

    Use your coping skills. This means not letting your thoughts take control of yourself.

    You can distract yourself and escape a bit. Do things you love. You can exercise, listen to music, dance, volunteer or help someone, be in nature, or read a book.

    It isn’t about repression. It’s about redirection. You can’t stay in thoughts that are no longer working for you.

    Sometimes, it’s okay to get out of your own way. Give yourself a break from the things going on in your head. You can always come back to a problem later. This may even help you figure out the best course of action as sometimes stepping away is the only way to see the solution.

    If you had a bad day, you may not feel like addressing what went wrong. You may need a break, so take one.

    7. If a Bad Day Turns Into Bad Days

    “I believe depression is legitimate. But I also believe that if you don’t exercise, eat nutritious food, get sunlight, get enough sleep, consume positive material, surround yourself with support, then you aren’t giving yourself a fighting chance.” –Jim Carrey

    If you’ve been feeling out of control, depressed, or unstable for more than a few weeks, it’s time to call a mental health professional. This is not because you have failed in any way. It’s because you are human, and you simply need help.

    You may not be able to quickly rebound from a bad day, and that’s fine. Feel what you feel, but don’t let it consume you.

    When you talk to a professional, share the techniques that you have already tried here and whether they were helpful. They may tell you additional ideas or gain insights from your struggles of not being able to rebound from a series of bad days.

    If you’re having more than just a bad day, they will want to know. If you don’t have the answers, that’s okay, too. You just need to try these tools and figure out how you’re feeling. That’s all that’s required of you.

    Keep taking care of yourself. Any progress is progress, no matter how small. Give yourself a chance to get better by reaching out.

    Final Thoughts

    If you had a bad day, don’t let it stop you.

    Know this: It’s okay not to be okay. You have a right to feel what you feel. But there is something you can do about it.

    You can invest in yourself via self-care.

    You are not alone in this. Everyone has bad days from time to time. You just need to know that you are the positive things you tell yourself.

    More Things You Can Do If You Had a Bad Day

    Featured photo credit: Anthony Tran via unsplash.com

    Reference

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