Reports suggest an unprecedented number of applications for divorce in some areas of China. Unfortunately, once the Covid-19 pandemic ends we may see a relationship pandemic begin… I think we all want happier relationships.
While some relationships flourish with the increased time together and a slowed-down pace, others are feeling extra tension and disconnect.
Below are 3 fundamental strategies for creating more happiness within your relationship:
1. REDUCE STRESS: We, as a global community are experiencing all kinds of different stressors because of the Covid-19 outbreak.
- We are creatures of habit and we’ve been forced to change many of our habits right now. This presents a challenge for our brains and can elicit all kinds of stress responses.
- Uncertainty drives anxiety which also creates stress.
- We have tons of stress hormones rattling around in our bodies right now, and no access to many of the ways we used to be able to mitigate that stress.
Connection and intimacy take a back seat when stress gets involved because one of the ways we cope with that stress is we take it out on the people closest to us.
It’s mandatory to reduce stress.
2. MONITOR INTERACTIONS: The difference between fundamentally happy and unhappy couples is the balance between positive and negative interactions. Simply put: we need to have more positive interactions than negative.
- Emotional dismissiveness
- Negative body language (eye-rolling)
These negative interactions carry a large amount of emotional power which can be very damaging to a relationship, however it is repairable with validation and empathy.
- Be interested in what your partner has to say
- Show affection by holding hands or embracing
- Small gestures add up, so be thoughtful
- Find opportunities for agreement during arguments.
- Empathize and apologize
- Accept your partners’ perspective even if you don’t agree with it (shows validation + respect)
- Make jokes or inside jokes (no belittling or laughing at partner)
3. EFFECTIVE COMMUNICATION: Effective communication is also essential during this time. We need to feel heard and to be actively listening to our partners. Practice effective communication and adopt a strategy of communicating from a place of “I feel…” and “this is what I’m telling myself right now…”. Both of these strategies will offer not only your perspective, but allow clarification of what’s actually going on.
It takes intention to create the relationship that you desire, especially in stressful times.
I believe in you.