"The most precious gift you can give to to your partner and yourself is to create an environment that is both nurturing and peaceful". - Melissa Ferrari
It's not just vitamins, juices or quality food that can boost your immune system. Research has shown that unhappy marriages and stressed relationships weaken the immune system and couples with healthy relationships have 35% fewer illnesses. You can strengthen your relationship by focusing on micro-exchanges, affectionate touch, nervous system regulation and the awareness of subtle disruptions and separations that can affect the quality of a relationship. Listen here as I speak with Larry Emdur and Gerald Quigley on 2GB House Of Wellness. These tips will help couples strengthen their relationship and give you the immune system boost you might need to get you through the last of the yearly flus. Thanks Larry and Gerald for this wonderful opportunity. I so enjoy live radio!
5 Tips To Strengthening Your Relationship
1. Fight fair - being in a partnership involves making the responsible decision to fight fair and this involves paying conscious attention to our tone of voice, choosing gentler words and generally softening our communication. Focusing on these things is important because in combination they reduce the stress response in your partner as well as settling and soothing both your nervous systems which smooths the way for better communication and strengthens your couple bubble.
2. Don’t use email, text or the phone to fight - Conflict escalates when we are fighting in the absence of face-to-face contact because the non-verbal cues (like the incongruity between harsh words and softness or tender facial expressions are not seen).
Being in front of your partner means you can look at each other eye-to-eye and therefore see more of what is going on inside each other’s minds and nervous system. While on that subject, don't argue sitting in the car together next to each other - there are too many distractions and with both of you facing the same way you can’t read your partner’s non-verbal communication easily.
3. Aim for a happy relationship as it protects you both - A happy relationship means there is less stress, without stress there is less stimulation of hormones like cortisol which elevated when we face conflict, worry and painful experiences in a couple relationship can compromise our health and well-being. Long term exposure to stress hormones has a negative effect on our immunity so keeping your relationship on track is good for our health overall.
4. Commit to a daily greeting ritual - Greeting each other positively at the end of the day can have a powerful and positive effect on your relationship. Watch here where Dr. Stan Tatkin co-creator of a Psychobiological Approach to Couple Therapy (PACT) talks about The Welcome Home exercise and it's benefits.
5. Be mindful of separation and re-unions throughout the day - Leaving for work each day, going to sleep at night or even moving from one room to another within the house, we are always in a process of contact and loss of contact which can lead to very subtle feelings of loss or abandonment in one or both partners. Even at home, with modern technology as it is, members of a couple relationship can end up in two separate rooms within the same house for hours at a time. Be mindful of this and be sure to check in or give each other, offering a hug now and then, as a way of maintaining connection. Listen to my radio interview on this blog for more suggestions especially about managing bedtime.
For more tips, daily quotes and information about love, relationships and happiness visit my Facebook page Key To Love for those looking to find a life partner and are looking for some coaching. Love, Life, Relationships & Transformation is my other Facebook page for parents and those in relationships already who like some daily inspiration. Also available is information about couple therapy and how it can help your relationships.