Life by Design: Relationship Energy Generators

Life by Design
Relationship Energy Generators

Turn your Relationships into energy generators rather than energy drainers
My husband and I used to have a great relationship. But now we would rather avoid each other. It seems like so much work to even talk to each other. It is almost like it is making me sick. How can we get back in touch with each other?
A good relationship can give you increased energy and support a positive outlook. A troubled relationship can wear you out.
Your limbic brain - also called your emotional brain - controls your physiology. Nothing affects your limbic/emotional brain like the quality of your relationships. When we feel emotionally disconnected from our relationships, our emotional brain becomes aroused and we move into flight or fight mode. The results are not good for our relationships and it throws our physiology into chaos.
Here are some tips to turn your relationships into energy generators instead of energy drainers.
Spend More Time with Your Partner
Marriage researcher John Gottman finds that happy couples who have marriages that work and improve over the years spend more time on their relationships- an extra 5 hours a week. They engage in:
Partings -saying good bye in the morning and finding out at least one thing that each is going to be doing
Reunions -have a low stress reunion conversation at the end of the day
Affection -have more physical contact - about 5 minutes a day - laced with kindness and forgiveness
One weekly date - at least 2 hours - to be by themselves in a relaxed atmosphere updating their relationship with each other
Admiration and appreciation - at least once a day couples give each genuine affection and appreciation
Capitalize On Your Communication
Researcher Shelly Gable finds that the quality of your response to good or positive news from your partner counts. If you react positively and enthusiastically, your relationship is likely to be more committed, more caring, and more satisfying - at the time and later on.
Do you "react enthusiastically" (active-constructive)? "That's the best news I've heard this week, and I'll bet it's just the first of many big raises you'll get."
Do you "point out the potential problems or down sides of the good event" (active-destructive)? "Are you sure you can handle the added responsibility?"
Do you "say little, but convey that you are happy to hear the news" (passive-constructive)? "That's very nice, dear."
Do you "seem uninterested" (passive-destructive)? "Isn't all this rain something?"
The first category, active-constructive, capitalizes on the situation, amplifying the pleasure of the good situation contributing to an upward spiral of positive emotion. Capitalizing turns out to be a key to strong relationships.
When your partner in a relationship tells you some good news or something they are excited about, take the time and energy to convey your enthusiastic positive support. Save any downsides that you see until another time.
With just a few targeted changes, you can reap the benefits of stable, connected and satisfying relationships.

Mary Ann Copson, founder of Evenstar Mood & Energy Wellness Center for Women, is Life Coach who specializes in helping her clients better manage their moods and energy. www.evenstaronline.com; 434-263-4996.