STOP TRYING TO FIX YOUR PARTNER’S FEELINGS, CONNECT WITH THEM INSTEAD
One of our deepest needs as humans is to feel understood, and true understanding is not possible without empathy. As psychologist Carl Rogers put it, “When someone really hears you without passing judgment on you, without trying to take responsibility for you, without trying to mold you, it feels damn good!”
Think back to a time when you were listened to and really felt heard. How did it feel to be seen as you were?
The last letter in Dr. Gottman’s ATTUNE model is E and it stands for Empathy. Brené Brown describes empathy beautifully in this brief animated video.
Empathy is the willingness to feel with your partner. To understand their inner world.
If ‘hangry’ is a real emotion for you, we feel you. Hanger—that on-edge and easily irritated state you enter when you’re hungry—is real and happens to the best of us, and it’s also when we tend to make hasty food choices we didn’t quite mean to make.
If you’ve ever snacked on a cookie at work and then looked down and realized you accidently snacked on four cookies instead of one while zoning out, this article is for you, too. (Also, read this if sugar cravings are chronic issue for you and you want some healthier alternatives.)
Many health experts won’t tell you that married couples can actually prevent the common cold and seasonal flu by reducing the negative behaviors in their marriage. During the winter months when runny noses, coughs, and fevers are all too common, we’re reminded to wash our hands, avoid contact with sick people, and get a flu shot. Another preventative measure you can take is to increase your positive behaviors toward your spouse.
Researchers at the University of Birmingham in the United Kingdom, who studied married couples’ antibody response to an influenza vaccine, found that people in satisfying marriages had stronger immunity to flu viruses. Researcher Greta Hysi at the University of Tirana in Albania reviewed 40 studies on the effects of marriage on health. She found that higher levels of negativity which contribute to marital dissatisfaction also directly impact a couple’s physical health.
Hysi’s research also included a review of Dr. Gottman’s Love Lab studies, which found higher white blood cell counts in couples that were happily married. This finding is similar to that of Drs. Janice Kiecolt-Glaser and and Ronald Glaser at Ohio State University, who found natural killer cells are more effective in fighting off disease in happily married couples.
THE CLEANLINESS OF YOUR HOME IS IMPACTING YOUR HAPPINESS
Apparently, there are real health incentives to vacuuming.
Your mother was right. You really do need to clean your room—and not just to get rid of clutter and find your long lost gray sweater. A new survey run on behalf of Clorox found that not only is your emotional and mental state linked to how clean your home is, but you can actually be more productive and less stressed in a clean home.
The report, conducted by Ketchum Global Research & Analytics and commissioned by Clorox, surveyed 2,008 adults across the United States. It started based off some pretty grim-sounding third party research: According to a Gallup poll, 79 percent of Americans frequently suffer from stress. Another 72 percent report feeling lonely (per a Harris poll), while happiness levels seem to generally be declining. Another Harris poll found the US to have dropped to number 19 from number 3 on the World Happiness Index in a span of just nine years.
While these findings are fairly depressing, there’s an easy solution: cleaning. That’s right.
FIVE EASY, POWERFUL WAYS TO VALIDATE YOUR CHILD’S FEELINGS
Validating children’s feelings ups their self esteem and lowers defiant behavior.
In my book 10 Days to a Less Defiant Child(link is external), I wrote, and continue to strongly believe, that understanding your child is just as important, if not even more important, than loving him or her. Just as there are many divorced people who may still love their ex-spouse but never felt understood by him or her, there are many children and teens who feel loved but not understood. I can assure you that no adult has ever come to my office complaining of parents who took too much time and energy to understand him or her!
Validating the feelings of your children helps them to feel understood. To help your child feel understood, it means you keeping your ego and desire to lecture in check. Validating your child’s feelings also means that you don’t judge him or her. Instead, you simply acknowledge his or her feelings. This takes focus and discipline as parents. As I share with my clients, the best discipline you can give your child is having the self-discipline to be patient, empathetic, and loving—especially when he or she is not acting lovable. Contrary to what many frustrated parents may think, particularly during those stressful times of conflicts, validating feelings is not condoning bad choices or giving in to defiant behavior.
It’s a dull, subdued sensation when your heart is breaking, like the muffled sound of a distant gunshot. It doesn’t physically pierce your skin or tear you to pieces, but the sensation is physically present – the paralyzing discomfort of realizing that something you took for granted is leaving for good.
Although it’s hard to accept at first, this is actually a good sign, having a broken heart. It means you have loved something, you have tried for something, and you have let life teach you.
Life will attempt to break you down sometimes; nothing and no one can completely protect you from this reality. Remaining alone and hiding from the world won’t either, for endless, stagnant solitude will also break you with unhealthy nostalgia and yearning.
SEVEN QUICK TIPS TO LOWER YOUR CHILD’S OR TEEN’S ANXIETY
Giving your child or teen the gift of less stress and worrying.
Anxiety is one of the biggest emotional health challenges facing our children and teens. It can destroy their self-esteem, reduce joy, and interfere with, or even sabotage, them from taking healthy risks in life. Being a calming, skilled, and steadying influence to help your children learn to manage anxiety is a valuable lifelong gift that you can provide to them.
Here are seven strategies to help your children manage their anxiety:
Lead a happier, healthier life with these calming strategies.
You can read all the anti-anxiety advice in the world, but none of this matters unless you take action. To feel more relaxed, to sleep soundly at night, and to put energy into what matters, you have to stop wasting time on tasks that don’t matter.
By the end of this article, your life could become infinitely more productive and Zen-like. Your part is to commit to 15-60 minutes per day and tackle a few of the following 22 anxiety busters below.
HOW TO DEAL WITH EMOTIONS WHEN ALL YOUR FRIENDS ARE GETTING MARRIED AROUND YOU
The pressure to get married can be overwhelming and the emotions when you’re the last one standing even more so. Here’s how to cope!
We get to a certain age when many of our close friends are tying the knot and amidst all the excitement and preparations of your friend’s wedding, certain sore hearts are inevitable. This is a phase each one of us will go through where the feelings of being stuck and left out are prominent. Here’s how to deal with the emotions that inevitably arise when all your friends are getting married around you.