Healthy Relationships: It’s Always a Good Time to Look What Lights Us Up

This week on Love at Lunch, we looked at how healthy relationships are a critical part of the flourishing framework. Science shows us that part of our brains engage and light up when we have healthy relationships. I’ll take some brain lighting up!


Alternatively science shows us that when relationships break down, it lights up the same pain centres in our brains as if we have broken a bone.

A heartache feels like a broken bone as far as our brain is concerned. Dang, I can barely survive a stubbed toe.

Being connected with others is an essential human need. You’re probably thinking Leona, its Covid. It’s HARD to connect. I know. Where I live right now, we are only allowed to socialize with the people that we live with. I get how painful the lack of connection is.

However, while we want to acknowledge how awful this time can be, we also want to be aware what we can do differently.

Watch the video if reading on is too much 🙂

We want to invest in relationships that light us up. Good relationships bring us joy, most of the time. If you have someone that pops into your head immediately hen you think of joy (yay-#1, you’re very fortunate), and now you want to reach out to them so you can connect. If you live close, meet for a walk, and if you don’t, set up a phone call or a video chat (if you aren’t too zoomed out). OR my new fave, talk on the phone and go for a walk at the same time.

Good relationships require intention and investment. Set up regular times to connect with this person. Then it’s set in your calendar and requires less effort in the future.

We feel joy in connecting with certain people because of shared values. Joy shows up because the more we honour the truth and what matters to us, the more joy there is. That shows up in your relationships too.

Pay attention to what brings you joy in specific characteristics in people. That matters. Those are your values.

Don’t compromise in your relationships. Show up fully! Be yourself, ask for what you want, set boundaries and communicate what matters to you. Inauthentic relationships are soul-sucking. Life is challenging enough. Connect with those that light you up, your connection feels genuine, and your heart feels full.

AND if you are in an intimate relationship, consider adding one of John Gottman’s suggestions. He has studied relationships for over 40 years. Be intentional about 20-second hugs, 6-second kisses, weekly state of the union meetings. All so good, and you will notice how your relationship changes for the better.

Your heart will be happier (literally as disconnection and loneliness puts us at HIGH risk for heart disease). You can modify this to be appropriate to do with your team and your kids. Try this out this week. It may feel a bit more formal that your usual conversations, but you will be so glad you gave it a try. Its addicting to be intentional in your relationships.


Things may feel hard and not as connected as we long for. I know. However, there is always something we can do to improve our relationships and increase connection.

If we want to flourish and create more joy in our lives, investing in relationships is vital. If nothing else-take a wee step.

Send a text to someone you haven’t heard from in a while and see how they are. You’ll both feel the love-make a daily habit of that and feel the flourishing feels flood in.

I’d love to hear from you-let me know what you did to create more connection.


Lots of love to you all! xo



P.S. If the science of flourishing and joy making is something you want more of then I would love for you to join the waiting list for my book called Finding Your Joyspot. Its based on the 5 components of flourishing: PERMA, by Martin Seligman. This week is the “R” for healthy relationships. His work is crazy good.​

While the name, Finding Your Joyspot, may sound like fun and games its all the science based tools and techniques that help to transform our lives and create more room for joy, without having to change our circumstances. It’s coming out in June (because editing takes WAY longer than writing an actual book ;)). Sign up today:

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