Posts Tagged 'marriage counseling'

Feelings go Up and Down

This seems obvious, that feelings go Up and Down, but you would be surprised at how often people forget this.

The nature of feelings is that they’re sometimes intense. Sometimes you can anticipate them, sometimes not. Occasionally something catches you by surprise. When you can anticipate them, they’re easier to deal with, if you’ve anticipated them accurately, that is. But we as humans are really bad at that! We don’t anticipate how we’re going to feel very accurately at all.

We’re not very accurate predictors of feelings

I’m not going to hunt down a study and prove it to you at this moment. Instead think about the last time you thought you would feel a certain way when you knew some big event was coming up. Let’s take Graduation. We’re coming up on Graduation season. Most people anticipate feeling really, really happy, ecstatic even, giddy, joyful.

But most people will also say afterwards that it was a bit of a let down, or they expected to feel better than they did. That’s because they anticipated feeling a certain way and didn’t anticipate the mix of feelings that they may experience. So chances are they felt really, really happy but also nervous and perhaps a bit sad. Those last two brought down the happiness a bit.

Generally, Feelings go Up and Down.

Yep, so you’ll feel some happiness and then it will go down a bit and you feel more normal/neutral. And then you’ll feel happy again, etc, etc.

But this also applies to negative feelings. So when we’re sad, we’re bad at predicting that we’re going to feel better. We think we’re going to stay sad forever. But generally speaking, that’s rarely the case. We feel sad, then we feel closer to “normal.” Then sad again, then neutral, then maybe even a moment of happiness happens, then more neutral.

We go up and down and a bit around with our feelings. They key here is to talk to yourself about them. So when you’re in that sad state, tell yourself that you will feel happier again sometime soon. Sadness is not going to last forever. Just knowing that and reassuring yourself will help you feel better, less sad. Knowing that it will pass truly helps.

Talking to a counselor or psychologist or psychotherapist also helps. They help you figure things out. They help teach you strategies to deal with and handle sadness and other feelings. They help you notice what helps and what doesn’t.  And they help you talk about the feelings. If you’re in South Florida or Broward County and need a counselor, then feel free to contact me at 954-309-9071 or visit my Florida Psychotherapy website.

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Positive and Negative Spirals

Our partners in life are one of the biggest influences on our growth, development as a person, and happiness (parents are the other big one). If you’re having trouble, you and your relationship are worth improving!

People tend to underestimate how much of an influence your love partner has on your life. Stop for a minute. This is the person you see every day, who you usually live with, who you talk to about everything (hopefully).

They can help you grow as a person and support your dreams and hopes in life.

They can also influence you in ways you’re not even aware of. Research studies have shown that couples’ rate of breathing, heart rates, and walking paces synchronize when they’re together. Their communication styles also synchronize and they become very efficient at communication. Someone who can do all of this to your body also has an influence on your emotions and mind.

One study showed that negative interactions between couples also synchronize, which means that the “negative spiral” is a real effect! It’s not just in our imaginations that we hit a rough spot. It really does happen. It also means though that you can enter a “positive spiral” and hit a really good spot.

Positive spirals build on each other and help protect the couple when they hit a rougher patch. If you haven’t had a positive spiral in a while, talk to your marriage partner to see if you can shift it together. Do some things you enjoy together to help shift you into a positive spiral.

Lifetime t.v. interview

I was filmed today as the marriage expert for an upcoming segment on Lifetime t.v.’s show “The Balancing Act.” What a fun experience! More importantly though, they asked some good questions. One of them was:

What are some signs that your partner is dissastisfied?
The answer that got them laughing was Eye Rolling! O.k., we all do it from time to time but if it’s going on alot, then it’s something to be aware of. Eye rolling is actually a sign of disrespect. And depending on how it’s done, it can even be a sign of contempt for the other person. So keep an eye out for it (yes, pun intended!).

What to do if you see it?
I would address it with your partner. If they continue to do it, then I would look a little harder at your relationship and decide if you need to seek some help. One thing I said on the show was to get help sooner rather than later. We all change the oil on our cars and change the tires. We do the regular maintenance required to keep it running well. Don’t wait until your marriage has fire and smoke pouring out of it before you take it in. At that point, it’s no longer a tune-up; it’s a major repair. Get into counseling before that point to keep it running well.