Handling conflict in a relationship is challenging for many couples. It can be difficult to find ways to talk about disagreements or complaints that don’t devolve into arguments that don’t resolve anything, leave you both feeling worse, and potentially lead to more fights down the road.
Marriage expert John Gottman describes five steps to deal with conflicts without letting them turn into fights. Read the rest of this entry »
In this post we’re going to look at some things you can do to get some separation from your thoughts when your emotions are particularly strong and you’re having some thoughts you’re finding hard to let go. Read the rest of this entry »
In a recent post we looked at how mindfulness can help us let go of our thoughts when we get caught up in ruminating or worrying or just thinking in circles. Letting go of thoughts is never easy, however, and in this post we’ll look at how simply watching our thoughts can help us let them go.
Thoughts pop into our heads all the time, and usually we don’t pay any special attention to them: they enter and leave our minds all on their own, just like a car that drives into our line of sight, remains in our field of vision for a few moments, and then drives along and passes out of our line of sight again. Read the rest of this entry »
What often happens is we let our stress or anxiety build and build all day without doing anything about it, trying to ignore it, and just hoping it will go away. Then, when we finally can’t take it anymore and start feeling overwhelmed, we’re desperate to find a way to manage all of this stress and anxiety and get some relief, but at that point, it can be so hard to get any relief.
The more we allow stress and anxiety to accumulate, the more difficult they become to address. That’s why one of the keys to managing stress and anxiety is to find ways to not let them build up so much in the first place. Read the rest of this entry »
It’s easy to get swept away by our thoughts, especially in the face of strong emotions. We get stuck ruminating and dwelling about the past, filled with guilt or regret. Or our minds start racing and we can’t stop worrying about the future and imagining all the things that could go wrong. Or we replay conversations over and over again in our heads, trying to make sense of them or figure out what we could have said differently.
When our minds get going like this, not only is it exhausting; these patterns of thinking tend to make us feel bad, intensifying the emotions we’re already feeling and generating additional negative emotions as well. Because this experience is so unpleasant, it’s natural to want to these thoughts to stop, and to be able to prevent yourself from even having them in the first place. We often wind up trying to make these thoughts go away, and shut them out completely and make sure they don’t come back. But just like we can’t control our emotions or suppress our emotions, neither can we control or suppress our thoughts. Read the rest of this entry »
In a previous post we looked at some signs that suggest your relationship or marriage is in trouble according to relationship expert John Gottman. Gottman also describes seven principles that can help you get your relationship or marriage back on track.
1. Enhancing Your Love Maps: Love Maps are the part of your brain where you keep information about your partner’s life. The more familiar you and your partner are with each other’s world, the more detailed your love maps. You know each other’s histories, day-to-day life, friends, values, interests, dreams, etc. You know how things are going in in their life, at work, whether they’re having a bad day or week, what’s been on their mind, anything that’s troubling or worrying them, and important things that are coming up in their life. You also know the little details like their favourite foods, books, movies and tv shows. You keep track of what’s important in each other’s lives, and in so doing become closer and more intimate with each other. Read the rest of this entry »