I said that there were four great things about challenges. Challenges are opportunities to learn about, build and experience a quality relationship. Challenges are a way of measuring good and bad, a life reflection tool. Challenges give us the chance to be a better, happier and more confident person. And last, but not least, marriage/relationship challenges show us that we are responsible for our own thoughts, feelings and behaviours.
I promised that we would go further into this area of challenges in our relationships and give you some tips. I left off with focusing on the breathing.
WHEN CONFLICT APPEARS REMEMBER YOUR BREATH - TIME OUT
Anybody, who seriously works with people having problems in marriages and relationships, will tell you that when conflict begins it is advisable to put some space between the events and the emotions. You can do this by focusing on the breath or by excusing yourself to go out of the room for a cool down or a 10 minute walking meditation.
When we think we are right and the other is wrong it is a quick button push to possibly intense and habitual emotions and conflict. This, as you have no doubt experienced, can lead to rough and angry weather and loss of understanding for each other. Blame and anger and sadness.
A life coach can show you how to discover these inner automatic behavior patterns.
WOULD YOU RATHER BE RIGHT OR HAPPY
Here is what I recommend you do when things start to build up and be intense. You know the warning feelings. So stop talking and defending and attacking. At this point remember your breath. Follow it!
Stop and breathe in slowly and deeply staying focused on your in breath. Feel it and follow it in. Then breathe out slowly and fully, focused on your out breath, follow it and feel it pass out of you. Concentrate fully on breathing. Nothing else. No thoughts about the "issue". Do this in and out slowly and deeply, at least three times.
Pause, smile to yourself and ask yourself whether you want to continue to create this problem or not? Would you rather be right or happy? Be mindful and communicate mindfully.
If you lose it just go back to your breathing when you notice you are back to conflict or blame or other thoughts. If it is too difficult, ask to be excused for 5 to 10 minutes and go for a walking meditation. Walk slowly with complete attention on your steps and if possible breathe. More on Walking Meditation in a later post. ®
Live happy, healthy and awake. Bob and Marianne