Three exercises for noticing small emotions

Historically, I wasn’t very good at noticing emotions when they are small. In fact, for the longest time I really only noticed emotions when they became too overwhelming to ignore. This was not an effective strategy. It led to really painful interpersonal conflict and meant I spent a lot of time running away from emotional … Continue reading Three exercises for noticing small emotions

Working with emotional activation

In the last post, I talked about taking your emotional temperature, which is something I try to practice most days because it isn’t something that comes naturally to me. Nevertheless, I find it invaluable in helping me to notice and work with my emotions. As I have practised noticing my levels of emotional activation, I … Continue reading Working with emotional activation

Boundaries: From the broken house to the fortress of solitude

When I was thinking about writing this piece I recalled a session that I went to on Boundaries at South West Love Fest in Tuscon last year. At that session, Diana Ryan talked about boundaries in terms of what a home would look like depending on how your boundaries were maintained. This was such a … Continue reading Boundaries: From the broken house to the fortress of solitude

What are boundaries anyway?

Boundaries are a really important part of all relationships, be they friendships, kinship, romantic or sexual. They help you to ensure that you are treating yourself and others with respect and dignity. Fundamentally, boundaries are about honestly and directly expressing the treatment you will and will not accept from others. This means being clear about … Continue reading What are boundaries anyway?

Five things to pay attention to in the transition to existing relationship energy.

Naturally enough, there are lots of things to pay attention to at different times in your relationship. This is just a prompt to think through some common things that come up at this stage: 1) Did your chemistry mask poor compatibility?     One of the reasons that the move from NRE to ERE can … Continue reading Five things to pay attention to in the transition to existing relationship energy.

What fears must I face to take value-based actions rather than coping behaviours?

There are often legitimate fears that make it hard to act in line with our values. Afterall, we develop coping behaviours for a reason. It is usually because they were helpful to us at some time in the past. Perhaps we didn’t have control of a situation and withdrawal was a sensible solution in order … Continue reading What fears must I face to take value-based actions rather than coping behaviours?

What value-based actions would you like to be able to take in conflict?

If you have worked through the last few posts you will have identified your values, checked that they really are values, worked out how effectively you act in line with them in conflict and figured out how you behave in conflict when you are really not doing well. As you have probably guessed by now, … Continue reading What value-based actions would you like to be able to take in conflict?