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

Taking your emotional temperature

So, I’ve been spending more and more time feeling into my emotions, and I’ve come to the conclusion that the way I was taught to understand emotions as a younger person was dangerously wrong. You see, I was taught that emotions could be understood on a scale from sad to happy (and that you should … Continue reading Taking your emotional temperature

5 reasons to get a breakup buddy (or two)

Even amicable breakups are difficult for most people. When a relationship ends there is an emotional and practical disentanglement from someone that has been important to you, perhaps even your most important person. Lots of people experience distress, loneliness, relief, longing, sadness, guilt and even shame. There is a person-sized hole in your life. There … Continue reading 5 reasons to get a breakup buddy (or two)

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.

From New Relationship Energy to Existing Relationship Energy

In this post and the next one I’m focusing on the shift from new relationship energy to existing relationship energy in relationships that are geographically close and where participants are a regular feature in each other’s lives. I am deliberately not talking about long-distance or comet relationships, which often have a different trajectory. I have … Continue reading From New Relationship Energy 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?