"A happy marriage is the union of two good forgivers." Robert Quillen

As many of you know, conflict in relationships can easily get out of hand. Gottman, describes this as flooding. It's important that you know when you are flooded and what causes you to become flooded. Just as there is an optimal level for your heart rate in exercise, there is an optimal level for your heart rate when having a difficult conversation with your partner, and that level is well below 100. Here are four helpful tips to help you when you are feeling flooded in your relationship:

  1. Stop and take a breath. This may sound obvious but take notice when you are feeling flooded. Are you breathing quickly or are you holding your breath. It's important to stop and take some deep breaths. I suggest breathing in to a count of four and out to a count of four.
  2. Agree to take a break. This doesn't mean that you walk away from your partner. This means that the two of you agree to take at least a twenty minute break. This is a time where you can go for a walk and clear your mind. Don't think about how angry you are at your partner during this time this will only increase flooding.
  3. Think fondly of your partner while you are away from one another. Instead of thinking about all the things that irritate you about your partner, remember the things you like about your partner. Think back to when you first met and what stood out. Think about the times your partner has helped around the house or how hard they have been working at the office. Their cute smile or playful side.
  4. Remember to take care of yourself. It's true you can't take care of anybody else unless you take care of yourself. This means get plenty of rest, eat good food, drink plenty of water and exercise. Go for a walk with friends in the fresh air and natural light. Take breaks during the day when you are at work. Spend time doing things you enjoy with you people that you love and that you know love you.
We live in a busy world and it is easy to get caught up in it. Remember, to take time for your relationship and have a pleasant conversation with one another at the end of the day. For more help with communication in your relationship, please call me at (650) 892-0357.
 

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Lianne Avila, MFT
1510 Fashion Island Blvd.
Suite 110
San Mateo, CA 94404

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(650) 892-0357

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