Healing Within: Finding Ways to Heal after the Tragedies in Lebanon

Healing Within: Finding Ways to Heal after the Tragedies in Lebanon

Healing Within: Finding Ways to Heal after the Tragedies in Lebanon

Healing Hearts

Healing Within: For years, much of the Lebanese diaspora has grappled with struggles surrounding identity, belonging, security, and safety. In order to adapt to your new homeland, you had to give up a part of yourself. Many first-generation immigrants lived their lives hoping they would eventually be able to return home. They tried their best to hold onto and instill the traditions and beliefs of their forefathers to their children, but they also knew that the key to survival was to adapt. Through the years they found that their children were losing their ear for the language, tabbouleh was becoming more burghul than parsley, ketchup was becoming an acceptable accompaniment to kibbe, and worst of all, their dreams for returning home were becoming more and more distant. 

 The explosion in Lebanon has shattered more than windows and the structures that hold them in place. It has shattered the hearts and dreams of millions all over the globe. Just because you might no longer hold a Lebanese passport, does not mean you are any less Lebanese than those currently residing in Lebanon. Irrespective of whether you consider yourself, Beiruti temporarily working abroad, or a Midwesterner that calls your Nana, Teita, if you are part of the Lebanese diaspora, then you too have every right to feel what you’re feeling about what is happening in Lebanon right now.

Processing and Healing Within

Mourn The Loss – Give Yourself Space to Grieve

Just because you don’t speak Arabic, you left 20 years ago, or you’ve only visited a handful of times does not mean you are not entitled to grieve. Even if your home is intact or you do not personally know anyone who was directly impacted by the explosion, that does not mean you and your family have not experienced suffering and loss directly related to the situation in Lebanon throughout your lifetime.

For some, the explosion triggered past trauma and repressed memories of all they endured during the war. For others, it represented the final cutting of the cord between them and their dreams of ever returning home. There is a collective loss that is being felt by the entire community right now. One that has been years in the making. Everyone is feeling and reacting to this tragedy differently. Give yourself permission to explore and feel your feelings so that you too can begin healing within. 

[For more on Grieving and Healing Within, see: Life After Loss]

Embrace the Lebanese Aspect of Your Identity

One of the contributing factors for the Lebanese diaspora’s ability to thrive is their ability to assimilate into whichever culture they found themselves in. There’s a reason why very few know that Ralph Nader, Keannu Reaves, Shakira, Gloria Estefan, Tony Chalhoub, Zoe Saldana, Vince Vaughn, or Shannon Elizabeth are of Lebanese descent. Salma Hayek is more known for her Mexican-American heritage than her Lebanese one even though her name is as typical of a Lebanese name as they get.

It’s the very same reason very few people might know of your own Lebanese heritage. It’s not that you’re not proud of it, it’s a survival instinct picked up by your ancestors. You are Lebanese and however you internalize that is the correct way. There is no hierarchy or right way to embrace the identities you carry. As an online therapist, I have sat with hundreds of Arab-American clients through the years, and invariably our work together tends to include themes surrounding identity, belonging, and fit as they navigate between the old world and the new one they now call home.

Perhaps this is nothing new to you. Perhaps it is. At a time like this many are finding themselves feeling sensitive and even resentful of associates and colleagues who are not even acknowledging their heritage nor inquiring about the impact of the explosion on them. There are also feelings of survivor’s guilt that are being felt by many Lebanese residing abroad. They are feeling guilty that they fled their homeland, turned their backs on their loved ones and their culture, and have now not only survived but are also leading better lives than those they left behind.

Many are also feeling helpless being so far away and removed from the situation. If you’re experiencing some of these reactions to others’ attitudes, educate them about what is happening and if it feels safe, communicate your feelings to them. Perhaps even reach out and join a Lebanese initiative in your local community. Many organizations around the country are running fundraising and donation drives. Volunteering could help you connect with your roots, make new friends, and alleviate some of the feelings of helplessness, guilt, and resentment you might be currently feeling. 

[Emotional Self Care When Your Life is Falling Apart: How to Process the Darker Emotions of Life]

Lean Into Your Support System

Now is not the time to be brave and strong. Nor is it the time to isolate. Talk to your friends about what you are experiencing. Engage in open and honest dialogues with them. Your true friends will feel honored that you opened up to them and they can be with you during your time of need.

In times of crisis, we need to lean into our community as much as we can. Covid has prevented that for many which could be exacerbating your feelings about what’s happening in Lebanon. Humans are social creatures and the need for touch, community and bonding is real. Don’t shy away from reaching out. Who knows, you could also be helping someone else in the process.

Get Professional Help

Talk to a therapist or coach if your feelings become unmanageable or you feel no one understands. Events like this can trigger feelings of depression, anxiety, loneliness, PTSD, hopelessness, and fear. Don’t underestimate this traumatic event and the impact it might have created on you. There is no shame in asking for professional help to support so you can process your feelings and begin healing within.

 

Tania Chikhani, MBA, M.A.

online life coach arabic speaking therapist online life coach arabic speaking life coach career coach dating coach relationship coach

Tania Chikhani, MBA, M.A., is a Relationship Specialist as well as an expert Career and Executive Coach. She is trained in marriage and family therapy, mindfulness, and credentialed in career, executive, life, dating and relationship coaching. She can help you find, create and maintain passionate and fulfilling relationships while thriving in your career.

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Everyone experiences challenges, but only some people recognize these moments as opportunities for growth and positive change.

 

 

Working with an expert therapist or life coach can help you understand yourself more deeply, get a fresh perspective, grow as a person, and become empowered to create positive change in yourself, your relationships and your life.

 

 

Start your journey of growth today by scheduling a free consultation.

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It’s Okay to Cry: How to Handle Big Emotions

It’s Okay to Cry: How to Handle Big Emotions

It’s Okay to Cry: How to Handle Big Emotions

Emotional Health

IT’S OKAY TO CRY | It’s ok to feel exhausted, or angry, or discouraged. It’s ok to find rage building in your chest, or to feel fear and worry buzzing like bees in your gut. It’s ok—really, it is—to have big, powerful emotions, and it’s also ok if you don’t know what to do about them.

This may not feel like a shocking statement, coming from a therapist, but it’s worth saying even so.

 It’s worth saying because I’m pretty sure you’ve heard differently.

You may have heard that being angry is unattractive. You might have been told (or you might tell yourself) that your sadness makes you weak, or that fear is unacceptable. You may have learned overtly, or through experience, that the things you feel are inappropriate for someone of your gender, your race, your age, or your position. You may have discovered that sharing your emotions with others can make them uncomfortable, and can have painful or embarrassing consequences.

I suspect you’ve heard and felt these things because I’ve heard and felt them too, and so have my therapy and coaching clients who come to see me, seeking a place where—finally—their emotions are welcome.

Validate Feelings

I imagine that you, like me, like each of us, have adapted to these expectations. You might use humor as your shield, or you might intellectualize, straining the vulnerable bits out of the experience in favor of a punchline or a cognitive conclusion. 

Another popular choice is distraction (hi, smartphones and those earbuds you never take out anymore); or—another crowd-pleaser here—you might use your work as a hideout, allowing busy-ness (and often, positive feedback) to drown out any emotions that might come knocking. One that I use all the time? Taking care of someone else: I let whatever the other person is feeling fill all the space in the room.

You might identify with some (or even all) of the defense mechanisms I’ve listed here, or you might not. Your way of coping might be food, or substances, or exercise, or sex, or sleep, or even—brace yourself—something you learned in therapy. Yes, strange though it might sound, most strategies related to “emotion regulation” (think: breathing exercises, grounding practices, and many forms of mindfulness) function primarily to protect us from emotions, buffers between ourselves and the emotions that plague us.  

You might be thinking, “hey, isn’t a lot of that stuff good?” If so, you’re right!

Wheel of Emotions

Sometimes—often, even—our emotions can feel messy, draining, unprofessional, and in the way. They can make it hard for us to, say, focus at work, or to be kind in conversations, or to fall asleep at night. They can also push us outside our personal windows of tolerance (the degree to which you can endure a particular emotion before you stop acting like your best self).

When that happens, things can get ugly, or even dangerous, and it is very important for each of us to have ways of helping ourselves stay within that safe, manageable emotional range. Some ways are healthier and more effective than others; the key is to find something that works for you in the moment without making your situation worse long term (addiction is one way certain defenses can backfire, for instance). 

But let’s say you’ve got a defense that’s working for you, consistently creating distance from your emotions, and not creating any kind of perceptible danger. Is this enough?

I would argue no. It isn’t enough, either for me, or for my clients.  Here’s why:

The emotions are still there, unresolved. In your less-guarded moments, you feel them.  And if you’ve been fending them off for a long time, you might notice that they start to change over time—and that these changes can be deeply unpleasant. We tell ourselves that emotions go away with time, but often the reality is much less rosy.

Feelings, like fruits and veggies, are meant to be digested while they’re fresh, and an emotion left unattended can rot: frustration can build into rage; hurt can fester and become resentment or even contempt; and sadness can, when left to itself, become a full-blown depression

We know, deep down, that we can’t go on avoiding our emotions forever, but it can be hard to stop—especially if the only alternative seems to be allowing the emotions to overwhelm you.

Emotional Goals

So let’s say you wanted to approach your emotions differently (Maybe you’re ready to agree that It’s Okay to Cry).  What would that look like?

This is a question I hear a LOT (especially lately from my online therapy clients), and it’s a good one. In fact, it still gets clinicians and researchers across the disciplines of psychology, counseling, and human development into spirited and complex debate. 

For starters, it’s important to recognize that we have emotions for a reason. Just like hunger lets you know that you need to eat, or pain tells you that you’ve been injured, emotions give us important information about ourselves and our needs

Emotions happen faster than conscious thought, which means that they give us the ability to notice and respond to our environment quickly. They are also fundamental to human bonding: without emotions we cannot experience connection, empathy, love, or loyalty. We can’t create partnerships, families or communities, and we can’t even communicate coherently with ourselves. 

In other words, our emotions are an asset. They’re not a necessary evil, an inconvenience, or a character flaw: they are essential feedback, allowing us to keep ourselves safe, whole, and connected to those we love.

In order to tap into this strength, I walk my clients (and myself) through five simple steps, counting them off on my fingers.

5 Simple Steps to Emotional Health

#1 The first thing to do is learn to notice our emotions as they happen. (Hint: the easiest way to do this, especially if it’s unfamiliar, is to start with your body. Is your forehead creasing? Is your heart beating fast, or slow? Are your hands or feet fidgeting? Might you be tensing your shoulders, biting your lip, clenching your fists, holding your breath?) This may involve learning to pause some of the strategies mentioned earlier, allowing yourself to direct your attention toward the emotion rather than away.

#2 The second step is simply to name the emotion. You may be feeling more than one at a time, but you can avoid confusion and overwhelm by just focusing on one at a time.  So now perhaps you’ve paused, noticed a lump in your throat, and thought to yourself, “I’m feeling sad right now.”

#3 Now for the third step: ask yourself where the emotion is coming from.  (This is a meditation technique called “reflecting:” you ask yourself a question, allowing your mind to answer without conscious effort, without pushing. You may surprise yourself with how you answer!)

#4 The fourth step is crucial: validate what you’re feeling. Emotions don’t get resolved until they’re taken seriously, so this is your chance to tell yourself things like: “It makes sense that I feel this way;” “My feelings are legitimate;” “It’s ok that I’m feeling this right now;” “I can feel this and still be ok,” “It’s okay to cry.” 

In this step, self-compassion starts to peel back the layers of resistance we have toward a certain feeling, giving ourselves permission to own our experiences rather than smothering them or shaming ourselves. And here’s the twist: even as we make room for the emotion, we start to feel calmer. 

Finally, we turn our attention to the need indicated by the emotion, and try to find a way of meeting it.  So if you’re feeling guilty, you might need to make an apology.  If you’re feeling angry or hurt, you might need to protect yourself.  If you’re feeling lonely, you might need to try connecting with someone.  And if you’re feeling sad, you might just need to cry. 

This step can be tricky, because sometimes the thing we feel we need is impossible (for instance, if you’re grieving the passing of a loved one, you might truly feel that you need them back; or if you’re deeply ashamed of something you said to your partner, you might feel you need a time machine to go back and change your behavior). 

It can also be hard because sometimes emotions urge us to try unhelpful things to make ourselves feel better, like punching someone who’s made us angry. It can be tempting to think that resolving the external event is the same thing as resolving the emotion, but that’s problematic too: it’s often beyond our capacity to “fix” whatever has happened to make us feel this way, and in any case, emotional needs often transcend their impetus (they’re often bigger or deeper than a single event). 

#5 The key to the fifth and final step of this process is to choose kindness toward yourself and the emotion at hand, demonstrating that you’re taking your feelings seriously, and that you’re going to act accordingly.

Walking yourself through these steps isn’t easy, especially the first time.  If you’re new to this sort of thing, be sure to cut yourself some slack: it takes practice. You might feel silly reassuring yourself, or you might get lost in your own thoughts as you try to figure out where a particular feeling is coming from. It’s normal to struggle.

As I write this, the world is struggling, and each of us are working as hard as we can to hold ourselves together, weathering circumstances we could not predict and cannot resolve. Our shared predicament makes it more important now than ever to know what to do with our feelings. In crisis time, we need something better than defenses and avoidance—we need to bring curiosity and compassion to our own emotions, and to the emotions of others.

And remember…it’s okay to cry. 

Wishing you the best, 
Amanda Schaeffer, M.S., MFTC 

denver therapist online therapist denver marriage counselor online marriage counseling

Amanda Schaeffer, M.S., MFTC is a marriage counselor, family therapist, life coach and individual therapist who creates a warm, safe environment, bringing out the best in you and your relationships. She empowers couples and individuals to heal and grow using evidence-based approaches that create real results and lasting change.

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Burnout Prevention + Recovery

Burnout Prevention + Recovery

Burnout Prevention + Recovery

Burnout Prevention + Burnout Recovery

Burnout Prevention and Burnout Recovery: If you’ve been feeling mentally and emotionally exhausted, and that the daily grind is relentless… you are not alone. The realities of “corona-life” are wearing down even the sturdiest and most productive among us.

On the bright side, things that feel unsustainable usually are, and if you’re coming to the conclusion that you cannot actually go on living this way you’re in the perfect position to make full use of today’s podcast episode — because help is here!

Today is all about helping you recover from burnout, reclaim control, cultivate resilience, reprioritize time and energy, and craft a sustainable “burnout prevention” plan for yourself, your career and your family.

Signs of Burnout

In case you hadn’t noticed, we’ve been living in a burnout culture. As a Denver therapist and online life coach, I’ve worked for years with clients who struggle with work fatigue, mom burnout (or dad burnout) and show up for therapy or life coaching feeling mentally exhausted or experiencing emotional exhaustion. The struggle is real!

Symptoms of burnout can mimic those of depression, often leading to exhaustion, apathy, irritability, and like you just don’t care any more. You might feel sad or angry, or you might just feel numb.

Feeling burned out and like you had nothing left to give was true long before the “coronavirus life” experience cranked it up 10x. Now busy professionals are attempting to do it all… quite literally.

  • Balancing a full-time work-from-home job with
  • Full-time stay-at-home parenting
  • Without even a smidge of respite from the community that once sustained you
  • Homeschooling
  • Increased stress in your relationship
  • Managing the chaos of always-home family in need of regular feelings, entertainment and some semblance of order
  • No boundaries between work and life, with the result being that there are no natural breaks or stopping points in the day which leads to working from home from the crack of dawn until late at night.
  • Not having access to the simple pleasures or self-care activities that once allowed you to bounce back from burnout, like getting a  massage, having an evening with friends, or even going to a movie is fraught with danger. 

The daily grind is endless, stressful, with no end in sight, and opportunities to replenish your energy and recover from burnout are few and far between. It’s a lot. It’s non-stop. If you’re feeling burned out from trying to do it all… of course you are!

Burnout Prevention

To help you start to restore your energy, cultivate resilience, and boost your mental and emotional reserves, today’s episode of the Love, Happiness and Success Podcast is all about helping you not just recover from burnout… but prevent burnout in the first place.

I’ve enlisted the support of an expert on this topic: Eileen McDargh. Eileen has spent over thirty years researching the subject of work fatigue, burnout prevention, and burnout recovery. Her new book is Burnout to Breakthrough: Building Resilience to Refuel, Recharge, and Reclaim What Matters.

Eileen is with me today to share her insight, tips and strategies to help you prevent burnout in the first place, or — if it’s already taking hold — regain your resilience and restore your sanity.

We’re discussing:

  • The first and most important mental shift you can make to reclaim control
  • How to identify energy takers and energy makers
  • Why questioning everything can cultivate your resilience
  • Daily practices that restore you (when you have zero time for anything) 
  • How to craft a lifestyle focused on sustainable productivity and burnout prevention
  • And more!

I hope this episode offers you guidance for how to rebuild your energy, restore your resilience, and start feeling like yourself again.

xoxo,

Dr. Lisa Marie Bobby

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Burnout Prevention + Burnout Recovery

by Dr. Lisa Marie Bobby | Love, Happiness & Success

Music Credits: Wimps, “Monday” 

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Dr. Lisa Marie Bobby is the founder and clinical director of Growing Self Counseling and Coaching. She’s the author of “Exaholics: Breaking Your Addiction to Your Ex Love,” and the host of The Love, Happiness & Success Podcast.

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Real Help, To Move You Forward

 

Everyone experiences challenges, but only some people recognize these moments as opportunities for growth and positive change.

 

 

Working with an expert therapist or life coach can help you understand yourself more deeply, get a fresh perspective, grow as a person, and become empowered to create positive change in yourself, your relationships and your life.

 

 

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Creativity: A Blessing and a Curse

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Creativity: A Blessing and a Curse

Creative Minds are Different

One thing I’ve learned as a life coach and career coach (as well as a creative person) is that creative people have a unique set of opportunities and challenges. What does it feel like to be an artist? What is the difference between a person that looks at a pile of scrap metal and sees an intricate statue, replicating Buddha, and a person that just sees a bunch of junk? What about those of us that hear nothing in the silence of the night, and those that make out faint sounds of instruments until they have composed an entire symphony in their minds?

Neurologically, there are differences in the “creative brain.” Different areas of the brain are accessed when examining the world, based on whether or not you are a more creative personality. All people use these parts of the brain, when necessary, but creative individuals tend to access these parts more often. 

Creatives literally see the world through a different lens… and this creates differences in their work and their lives. Could you imagine Jimi Hendrix doing your taxes? Maybe not, but your tax guy is most likely not pulling off a swallowable rendition of “Hey Joe” or “Foxy Lady” either. Each has their gifts.

Creatives Need to Look Inward, in an External World

However, the creative faction amongst us can sometimes have a difficult task of living in this world, because their thoughts and perspectives need freedom to float around it. 

Creative people often get great satisfaction from tapping into the unexpressed areas of the soul, in efforts to extract subconscious beauty and original creations. But that can often leave them longing for that same type of connection and purpose in a society that emphasizes external focus, conscious thought, and being guarded as opposed to open

While much of today’s art, in any form, is influenced by life and all things within, the ability to artistically express oneself is not something that is derived from this physical place. It’s an internal experience. Many times, the more strongly artists feel connected to their own creative process, they feel more disconnected from the larger world.

The Struggle Between Creativity and “Responsibility”

This is even more so the case in today’s age, where many of us spend the vast majority of our time and energy given to something outside of ourselves. This struggle between having the time and space for creative expression and the demands of day-to-day life is what often weighs on the minds of many creative artists. 

Our passions can so easily be traded for security, and our fears are triggered by the word RESPONSIBILITY. This is especially true for creatives in relationships. How could you possibly put your dreams and passions first, when you have a family to care for? Who is going to pay the bills while you set out searching for inspiration for your next book or album?

Disconnection From Your “Creative Self” Can Be Damaging

Not only can emotions derived from these questions be creatively stifling, but they can also contribute to a myriad of negative emotions, and a general sense of feeling STUCK. 

Some artists wind up abandoning their creative dreams in favor of living the way “they should” according to the dictates of society. Not living as creatively authentic of a life is possible, but it often leads to depression and anxiety.

How To Balance Work and Art

Here are some tips to help you create a healthy balance when you’re a creative person living in a reality-based world.

Honesty: The best way to combat the inner turmoil between your need for creative freedom and the day-to-day realities of life, is by staying honest with oneself when it comes to who you are, and what you want. 

We all have the right to have EVERYTHING we want, as long as we are willing to work for it. Not society, family, nor SELF should keep us from being who we were truly meant to be. Recognizing and embracing your differences, as a creative person, is the first step in creating a balanced life.

Validation: Another crucial part of this honesty is a commitment to NOT SHAMING yourself for desiring something that might not seem commonsensical. This is important, as it will make it easier to continue to listen to your inner dialogue. 

It is hard to sit with your authentic feelings and thoughts, if you are beating yourself up over even having them. Allow yourself to think, and feel your truth, without that defining who you have to be.

Prioritization: Being honest with yourself, and giving yourself permission to be creative, will then allow you to make space for creative expression in your life. Start by asking yourself where and how you can make space for your creative process? Next, consider how can you prioritize that, while also fitting day-to-day responsibilities around your most important work? 

The key here is balance: If you deny and suppress your creativity, it will harm you emotionally (and existentially). And, if you only follow pure creativity there can be other consequences, to both your relationships and your material security.

You deserve the best of both worlds: The fulfillment of creative expression, and also a stable life.

If you are a creative artist struggling with how to balance work and art or are having trouble with creative inspiration, you may find that coaching and/or therapy can be a beneficial way to improve the way you work on art, as well as how you walk through life.

 

 

 

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Three Practical Tips for Productive Communication (when you are both stressed)

Three Practical Tips for Productive Communication (when you are both stressed)

Three Practical Tips for Productive Communication (when you are both stressed)

Couples Communication Tips

Have you noticed a difference in your communication with your partner over these last several months? Maybe being around each other more often has led to greater opportunities for discussing both positive and negative aspects of your relationship, selves, and life goals. Productive Communication is essential for any relationship – but when faced with something like, say, a pandemic, your ability to communicate through the current change could ultimately make or break your relationship. 

As an online marriage counselor and relationship coach, I have been working with my couples clients lately around productive communication in stressful times. Not only are many of my couples clients experiencing a new kind of stress in their individual lives (careers, goals, hobbies, friendships), but they are also experiencing a new type of stress in their partnerships.

It’s not uncommon for couples to experience an uptick in stress when what felt like a relatively regular routine gets flipped on its side…we can probably all relate to this, right? When your entire life changes (working from home, transitioning to a new way of managing your day-to-day tasks, spending more family time, even homeschooling for many families), your relationship can feel like it’s on the backburner. In doing so, new anxiety, confusion, and stress can be brought to the surface surrounding you and your partner. 

I first want to tell you; you are not alone. We are all in this same boat together. It’s difficult enough to manage a regular life, relationship, and family structure but throw in constant change and the unknowing of tomorrow, and you have a whole new stress-mess to work through that can feel overwhelming and often lonely.

Today I want to share three practical tips for productive communication with you when you and your partner are both stressed and ultimately doing the best you can! 

#1 Name It: Call it what it is…

The first tip is to acknowledge to yourself and your partner that you are stressed. Life has recently thrown many things at us, and it is very common to go into problem-solving mode. We are wired to prioritize our responsibilities first and think of ourselves last. You may feel the need to be strong for everyone around you, or it can be hard to admit when things get to you. Take some time every day to check in with yourself. Name your feelings, tell your partner what they are. 

A quick way to do this is to identify your stress level on a scale, say from 1 to 5. This allows you both to be aware that your stress may be impacting how you interact with one another. It is also essential to be aware when you need additional support and skills to deal with your stress. 

If you find that your stress is consistently interfering with daily responsibilities or changing the way you see yourself and your partner, seeking an individual or couples counselor can do wonders. Take advantage of the increasing flexibility and availability of online counseling to get quick and direct support. 

Now more than ever, it is crucial that you increase your ability to manage stress.  If we don’t acknowledge how we are doing, it is easy for us to take things personally. This can turn us away from one another when we need the support of each other the most. 

#2 Give The Conversation A Purpose

The next tip is about coming to the conversations you have with a specific purpose. Before you begin talking about a difficult topic or when stress is at its highest, think about what you want to get out of the conversation. Are you looking for space to vent about what is going on? Would you like your partner to give you their advice or opinion about something? Maybe you need reassurance and encouragement. 

If you give the conversation a specific purpose and relay that to each other beforehand, you will have a better chance of being understood. Your partner also has a better idea of what they can do to contribute productively to the conversation. Stress can make it difficult to know how to help each other, and having a specific purpose will keep you both connected and on the same page.

#3 Stay On One Topic At A Time

When stress creeps in, there can be a rush of thoughts and emotions that overwhelm you. Your mind could be running a mile a minute. This has a way of interfering with how we communicate. 

Have you ever started talking about one thing, and then you are on a totally different topic a few minutes later? That is usually because our emotions have taken over the conversation, and we are now focusing on them instead of the issue at hand. 

If you find that your conversations are bouncing from topic to topic, try to catch each distraction and redirect back to the original topic and purpose. You may say something like, ‘I noticed we have gotten off track, let’s refocus.’ Then go back to the original topic. This can slow down the pace of the conversation and help you resolve one thing at a time. 

Practice Productive Communication

It’s true; you’re not going to have this figured out after one conversation (not even one really productive conversation) because the truth is, it takes time. You and your partner may have to work a little extra to create the time that you both need for productive communication. However, with practice and persistence, what can feel like an overwhelming or confusing conversation can ultimately start to grow into another beautiful chapter of your life. 

Here’s to productive communication!

Warmly,
Teresa Thomas, M.A., AP

 

Teresa Thomas Marriage Counseling Online Charlotte marriage Counseling black therapist online therapist charlotte NC

Teresa Thomas, M.A., AP is a positive, strengths-based therapist, marriage counselor, and life coach with a knack for helping people get to the root of their issues so that they can establish strong foundations for long-term change. She helps couples, families and individuals heal, grow, and feel good again.

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Real Help For Your Relationship

Lots of couples go through challenging times, but the ones who turn "rough-patches" into "growth moments" can come out the other side stronger and happier than ever before.

 

Working with an expert couples counselor can help you create understanding, empathy and open communication that felt impossible before.

 

Start your journey of growth together by scheduling a free consultation.

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