Have you ever felt angry, depressed, or anxious about a situation? Whenever you feel overcome by intense emotion it is time to check in on your thoughts. Little do we know we have “automatic thoughts” that are cued during every event we encounter.
For example, if your friend is late to dinner. There maybe a fleeting thought, “here we go again, can she be on time for once”?! We may not hone in on the thought, but it’s there. This thought leads to a negative emotion: anger, sadness, regret.
It is common for us to believe that an event causes our emotions. In actuality our thoughts cause our emotion. It was not the friend being late that caused the angered reaction, it was the thoughts behind it…”here we go again, can she be on time for once”?!
When we feel negative emotion it is time to reflect on our thoughts and actively can change them. If the automatic thought instead was, “I hope traffic is not to bad” the reaction changes to concern. If the automatic thought was changed to, “she keeps me on my toes” the reaction would be comical. We have the power over our thoughts. Whenever we feel upset its time to combat negative thoughts and replace them with positive ones!
When was the last to you checked your inner thoughts?
Proper communication is the basis of any strong relationship. “Not feeling heard” is one of the biggest complaints I receive from couples. Many times people feel they are fighting to get there partner to see where they are coming from. When a partner does not feel heard it affects the intimate connection and damages the relationship. When you are feeling unheard it is time to stop and tell your partner how you are feeling. Communication should not feel like a battle or leave you feeling upset. One way to ensure that you are communicating effectively is to practice reflection. Reflection is the restating of what was heard by the listener to confirm there understanding of what was heard. In doing this, each partner is better able to communicate properly because they have a better understanding of where the speaker is coming from.
Criticism is what is called a “relationship killer.” It is also considered one of “the four horsemen of the apocalypse”. That means that it is one of four characteristics in a relationship that points to a rapid decline, dissatisfaction, and a high predictor of divorce. Research suggests that we must say five positive things for every time we criticize our significant other just to even the scales. No one likes to hear how bad they are doing. If you want to see a change in someone comment on how well they are doing, even if it is a baby step. Compliments drive motivation, while criticism makes people think, “why try?” Train your brain to look at the good and highlight the positive rather than focusing on negative aspects!
Self care is of utmost importance! As a new mom, I pride myself in making sure I am adequately caring for myself! Sometimes moms can get so caught up in taking care of everyone else, that they forgo time for themselves. It’s okay to take 20 minutes to yourself to regroup, sit in silence, or pamper yourself. I make it a point to excercise 5 times a week. On my off days I take 20 minutes to myself, I either go on a walk or just listen to relaxing music! I also make it a point to get a massage or my nails done every other month or so just to pamper myself. Self care comes in many forms, journaling, talking with others, eating healthy, excercising, and meditation/relation exercises. Self care is not a one size fits all. Find what works for you and make sure to do it often! Don’t feel bad about taking care of you!!
I will have been married to my bestfriend for six years in December of this year. We welcomed our first child, London, in April. I have been able to be a stay at home mom since March and have loved seeing her grow and change. As a new mom, I have transitioned in so many ways. I never knew my senses would become so sharp! I can hear things and see things in a different way. I can here changes in her breathing pattern when no one else can! I also have a new found respect for moms everywhere. It can be easy to judge the mom with the screaming children or think to yourself, “my kids will never do that”. However, this needs to be a judgment free Zone. You don’t know if the child is teething, how much or little sleep the mother and child have gotten, or if the baby is simply overstimulated. Those who are mothers and those who are not need to let go of the stigma of “the perfect mom” and “perfect child”. No, your house does not need to be spotless at all times. No, your child does not have to have it together in public at all times. As adults do, babies have good and bad days. Sometimes we get good sleep, sometimes our sleep is lacking. However, we must take our little ones as they are and enjoy there cute little faces. Once we stop being so worried about what others are or are not thinking we are able to free ourself of the burden of comparison and are able to better enjoy what we have in front of us!
The Tulsa wedding show was an amazing opportunity to meet with brides to be, congratulate them on their big day, and educate them on the benefits of premarital therapy. Many are stigmatized by the word “therapy”. Therapy does not equate to “not having everything together”. Therapy is a good way to obtain or enhance personal skills, such as communication and problem solving. Therapy is an open forum for growth and acceptance. Therapy is educational in nature. Premarital therapy decrease the rate of divorce by 31 percent! The goal of therapy is to go over strength and growth areas of the couple and bring out topics that otherwise would not be discussed before entering into marriage.