Posts tagged #relationships

Five Tips for a Healthy Relationship

by Stephanie Steele, PhD, LMFT

1. Establish trust every day. 

    Communicating to your partner comments of security creates stability in long-term relationships. Sentiments such as "I just love spending time with you," "You are my favorite person," or "I love this life we are creating together."

2. Be curious about your partner's world, thoughts, feelings, etc.

    Instead of the typical "how was your day?" question, ask more in-depth questions such as "What happened at work today?" or "When was the last time you spoke with your sister?" Being curious about your partner's world in a way that expresses that you have a desire to understand them on a deeper level keeps couples connected.

3. Have an activity that only you two do, i.e. read a book together

    We all have our rituals or things that we do with only that one person. If you don't have that with your spouse - create it! Whether that is taking 10 minutes every morning to share a cup of coffee or tea, start a new workout regimen together or play cards every Saturday afternoon.

4. Encourage your partner daily

    When your spouse talks about work or their day, encourage them with uplifting phrases. Letting them know that they work very hard and they have every right to feel the way they feel is extremely validating. These encouraging remarks make a couples feel they are on the same team and it is always okay to share thoughts and feelings amongst each other.

happy couple.jpeg

5. Treat yourself well

    You've heard the phrase, "take care of yourself so you can take care of others." This is especially true when it comes to relationships. Make sure you are fulfilled in all areas of your life - without expecting your partner to fulfill you. Eating well, sleeping well and enjoying your life will make your relationship that much more rewarding.

Posted on September 11, 2014 .

Five Mindfulness Practices to Share with Your Partner or Child

1. Share a mindful commute.  Take a moment to silently notice three sights while taking a familiar route together.  Next, share what you noticed before reaching your destination (e.g., a mural on a building; a majestic oak tree; a mailbox that has been painted your favorite color; the way the shade makes the car dark while going down a certain street; a nest next to a power line)

 

2. Practice the appreciation exercise daily.  Create a routine of taking 5 minutes at the end of each day to point out three things that you appreciated about your partner or child during the past 24 hours.  The more specifically tied to a behavior the better!

 

3. Ask three new questions.  Power down the cell phone. Turn off the screen.  Take out the ear buds.  Attune to your partner or child and learn something new. Take turns asking each other questions about your past, present, or future that you have never asked.  Make it a game you regularly play over dinner, while doing chores, or while in the car.

 

4. Notice, name, and share your thoughts and feelings.  Take time to share your internal experiences with your child or partner.  Practice using statements such as:  “I am having the thought that _______”; “I notice that I feel _______ when I have the thought that ______.”  This will grow your child’s emotional intelligence and increase intimacy with your partner.

 

5. Locate your emotions.  Talk about where you experience emotions in your body.  You could use the formula: “When I am (insert emotion), I feel (insert sensation) in my (insert region of body)”.  As an example: “When I am anxious, I feel tension in my forehead.”

 

Posted on September 11, 2014 .