Our relationships are the foundation of our lives, and our ability to nurture, build, and maintain them is directly linked to our ability to thrive. This is a topic we cover in Thrive’s first book, Your Time to Thrive, and in honor of the book’s launch, Gabby Bernstein, speaker, coach, and best-selling author, joined CEO Arianna Huffington and head of content development Marina Khidekel to discuss tips for optimizing communication, improving our relationships, and deepening our connections. 

Here are some highlights from their conversation:

Gabby on the importance of pausing to connect with ourselves: 

“We have to make sure that we’re connecting with where we’re at in the moment — like by using box breathing — and really allow ourselves to be present with our feelings. That’s where resilience comes in. When we allow ourselves to fully feel our feelings, we can redirect into gratitude or redirect into a question for someone else. And we have to be like that all day long right now, because every moment of our life we’re being hit with these really scary stories, and really uncomfortable moments and challenges. We need to build up that resilience within ourselves through Microsteps, and allowing ourselves to be very present, and caring, and parenting ourselves in many ways — allowing ourselves to feel our truth.”

Marina on the morning routine that strengthens her interactions with herself and others:

“Before I check my phone in the morning, I take one minute and set my intention for the day, or just take a few breaths — something super micro. I only go to my phone after that one minute. Doing this allows me to approach my day with less anxiety, and I’m more focused on what I want out of the day. It’s really changed how I interact with people, too.”

Gabby on starting meetings with a gratitude exercise: 

“When we start our company-wide Monday meetings, my main team will do a gratitude exercise. Even if it takes 35 minutes out of our meeting. We have a list of things we have to get through, but if we don’t do those gratitude exercises, then there’s no purpose behind the meeting. We need that sense of connection, and it is possible to achieve in virtual meetings. We’ve seen it.” 

Arianna on how gratitude can help improve our connections:

“Gratitude is the biggest antidote to anxiety. We cannot be grateful and anxious at the same time. Especially during a time of incredible uncertainty, our primitive brain is very likely to go to negative fantasies — but through Microsteps, we can practice gratitude and shift our mindsets, whether it’s when we wake up, when we wash our hands, or before we go to sleep. Every moment we can catch, practicing gratitude makes it easier to become present and do less negative fantasizing.”