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Tis the season of goodwill and happiness, yet December is the month couples and families argue the most. The gap between hope and reality is a destroyer. Christmas and birthdays are breeding grounds for disappointment, disappointment leads to conflict. Because you look for someone to blame. The concentration of time spent together, social interaction, habits and annoying peculiarities that are tolerable, even charming usually can quickly turn toxic when you are together 24/7. Minor irritations may be blown out of all proportion. Any change in your circumstances can trigger anxiety.
Stress can be caused by physiological, psychological, emotional and behavioural responses when a person attempts to adapt and adjust internal or external pressures and demands, leading to a fight or flight reaction. Internal pressures include thoughts, feelings, memories, images, while external pressures are the demands from the world, including your access to support, friends, family, job, and community, to name a few.
Your stress response has evolved to help you take action when needed. The stress response, is a design of nature and natural selection to save your life when faced by immediate, mostly physical crisis. The appropriate action would be to run away or stand and fight. Thankfully this stress response is not suited to the types of stress you encounter daily. The stress response was designed to be short lived, when it is turned on for long periods of time, it becomes damaging. Stress can cause you to make mistakes when you think in extremes. You may find yourself blaming the cause of your discontent on your job, relationship, or the people you live with. Remember that job or relationship is ideal.
If you want to enjoy your break, and return with some tangible and realistic ideas for positive change:
1 Remember the issues you face on holiday are largely the same ones you deal with at home. Expect that they will crop up, so they do not overshadow everything else. Especially when you are put in a room filled with people you only see once a year. The gap between your perceptions of your family and your partner’s is usually considerable. The way your parents relate will have provided you with a template, consciously or unconsciously, for the way you form and behave in relationships. There is no getting away from family, even when they are hundreds of miles away. If you are in a blended family, take all these difficulties and multiply them by 10
2 Postpone arguments. If a conversation starts to get heated, try saying something like: “If we carry on with this conversation it’ll turn into an argument. Let’s not spoil the day. Shall we drop it for now and pick it up again when we both have time to talk things through” Very few arguments suffer from being postponed; most of the time you will not feel care enough to revisit it at a later date.
3 Give up the blame game. If you are unkind to yourself and criticizing yourself, by extension you will be unkind to your partner. If you want to maintain a strong and healthy, being kind to yourself and your partner is one of the first places to start.
4 Take time out. It is unfair on your partner to constantly check work emails while you are supposed to be spending quality time together. Turn off the phone or laptop, if you really must check in with work schedule an hour in the morning or evening to focus on it so it does not detract from the rest of your time together.
5 Schedule some ‘Me’ time. If you are busy you may not be used to living in each other’s pockets. Make time to pursue your own interests. A morning swim or an afternoon stroll round the area or local shops can give you some much needed space. Stress may be experienced as feelings of being overloaded, of being tense, too wound-up or preoccupied by worries. There an antidote. Having something planned for just yourself or with your partner once all the entertaining is over can support yourself and your relationship over the Holiday period.
Experiencing stress is common, yet considering the damage that long term stress does to your physical, emotional, and psychological wellbeing, as well as the detrimental effects it has on relationships, do you accept that stress is a part of life, or is there something you can do about it? A mild degree of stress is indeed useful to motivate us to take the necessary action, but if it continues unabated you spend more time being pushed around by the stress response and less time taking effective action. You can become trapped in unhelpful ruminative loops which is overwhelming the more you think about a stresses, the more you stimulate the stress response, stimulating more thoughts and more stress. the stresses never really go away. Your stress response is permanently turned on or running on autopilot in the background. The stress response is exhausting your mind/ body if continuously or frequently activated. What you are essentially doing is living life as if you are constantly responding to a crisis, a crisis that has no end. This is damaging psychologically, emotionally and physically, symptoms include chronic fatigue, sleep disruption, muscle atrophy, adult onset diabetes, cardiovascular damage, ulcers, digestive, reproductive problems, and more.
Your nervous systems can be divided into two main parts central nervous system that encompasses the brain and spinal cord. peripheral nervous system encompassing the nerve tissue outside of the central nervous system. The peripheral nervous system consists of two main parts – the autonomic nervous system and the somatic nervous system. The autonomic nervous system is centrally involved in the stress response. Its mechanisms are automatic, happening outside of your conscious awareness. Broadly, it is a system that it either designed to speed things up or slow things down. An analogy of this system is that of a car the accelerator and the brakes. The stress response essentially pushes hard on the accelerator; you need to learn how to apply the brakes in your body so that you can slow down or even stop the effects of stress. The sympathetic branch of the autonomic nervous system is the accelerator, while the parasympathetic branch is the braking system.
Practising compassion can play a powerful role in halting the effects of stress, bringing a sense of balance to life. Compassion changes the relationship that you have with others and yourself, moving from criticism towards understanding and kind encouragement, fundamentally changing the way you deal with yourself and others when things go wrong. It has important consequences for how you guide yourself towards balance.
Join me for The perfect antidote after the Hoildays to help you restore your Mind and Body.
The next Living from The Heart retreat will guide you through a process of deep restoration through mind / body techniques that will help you shift stress states into vitality and help you find balance to further cultivate your healing journey. Why go on a retreat?
Restoring the Mind and Body Retreat 29th – 31st January 2016 This 3-day retreat is an opportunity to immerse yourself in the tranquil Chess Valley where you can move to a slower rhythm of nature to restore the Mind, Spirit and Body.
The perfect antidote for stressed out individuals and couples. The Living from The Heart program will guide you through a process of deep restoration through mind / body techniques that will help you shift stress states into vitality and help you find balance to further cultivate your healing journey.
Check in from 3pm on Friday, Depart on Sunday at 4pm includes full board accomodation and all group sessions. Early Bird Booking £395 per person book before 30th November 2015 usual price is £425 per person based on shared occupancy.
Reasons to seek Relationship Therapy
You would not employ a builder to fix a leaking tap would you? You would take time to ensure you have the right help or your leak could turn into a bigger problem… The same applies for Relationship Therapy and psychosexual therapy.
When you are having difficulties in your relationship it is important to get the right help early enough to be able to smooth out any difficulties you have accumulated along the journey of your relationship.
Everything requires maintenance to run smoothly. When your car does not work you take it to a mechanic to get it fixed. The same applies to your relationship. Your relationship is an important area of your life, it affects the smooth running of everything else.
Consider Relationship therapy when:
• You want to learn skills and tools to have a good or even better relationship or marriage.
• When one of you thinks you might benefit from therapy even if your partner does not.
• When you feel stuck and what you have tried on your own is not working
• When you feel emotionally or physically/sexually disconnected and cannot seem to make changes on your own.
• When you frequently fight or withdraw or refuse to address issues of conflict appropriately.
• When you think you might be happier with someone else.
Trying to fix things on your own is a common mistake, often the things that people do to ‘fix’ their relationships ends up pushing people further apart.
The opinions and judgements of family and friends can spell disaster even when the intentions are good.
This does not mean that problems cannot be resolved to become more in line with what you both desire. People tend to try to fix things through the lens of their own experiences which is related to your needs, fears and relational patterns.
This often is the source of the difficulty in the first place. Frequently, one person might appear happy with the status quo while oblivious to problems or sources of discord between the two of you. You may be relatively happy. One person may not be so happy.
If one person is unhappy in the relationship, it is a relationship problem not one person’s problem.
Everybody has wounding to greater and lesser extents. Not everyone has been taught how to be in loving healthy relationships. These patterns and beliefs affect all relationships. Within the context of relationship Therapy and couple’s therapy these will be addressed.
In the process of relationship therapy you will learn how you accidentally get triggered on both sides, and how each of you contributes to distress and the joy in the relationship or marriage. When there is emotional distance or distress in a marriage or relationship both of you will feel dissatisfied. The ways in which a couple try to connect may not always be healthy. If sex wanes, the other partner may try to increase the frequency to alleviate the feelings of disconnection from their partner. You may use alcohol or drugs to feel closer.
A Healthy relationship involves two people taking responsibility for their relationship and the impact they have on each other.
Your life may have become busy with work, children, study and other activities in an attempt to to feel connected. Or you may avoid being alone with the person with whom you feel painfully disconnected from. Intimacy becomes an impossibility with two people are so disconnected from each other.
Many couples have great great communication skills however; you may find it difficult to work through conflict well. You may shout while the other withdraws. Or you both may shout or withdraw when you are triggered. Conflict or the root of the problem does not get resolved. In the grip of emotion often words are exchanged that are hurtful and are denigrating.
Many people think problems will just go away as though nothing has occurred, or that time will work things out. (This is a favourite defence of many partners.) Many attempts at problem solving may result in finding yourselves back at square one repeating old behaviours that created conflict in the relationship in the first place.
Help is given for on the Living from The Heart through Intensive couple’s therapy, Psychosexual therapy, workshops and retreats, where you can both learn tools and skills to work with conflict, individually and together. You will take home the tools and insights you gain in therapy to help you not only in your Love Relationships or Marriage, but all relationships you have.
Unfortunately, many couples attend relationship therapy too late – one person may have become exasperated and gives up. They do not have any more energy for the relationship after a prolonged period of time when they may not have been listened to, perhaps even suggesting relationship therapy to no avail or not taken seriously.
Another frequent scenario occurs when in the face of losing partner, an epiphany reveals that you might lose the person you love. From a place of fear, you may agree to get help and go to Counselling and are willing to work, only to find that the person is exhausted does not want to try anymore.
Couples have turned their relationships and marriages around after years and years of hopeless, distress with the right help. Do not lose your beloved through pride, or failure to take your partner’s unhappiness seriously, or not wanting to spend money. If you value your home or car you spend money on maintaining and repairing why not your relationship or marriage?
Make a change today and find out how a good couples therapist with the appreciate training and experience can help you both turn things around.
Why go on a Retreat?
It may be that you feeling a little stressed lately? Living from The Heart Retreat could be just the thing for you. It may be that something is stirring inside, a call to explore some questions more deeply.
It may be the best investment you make for your self, health and all relationships. It may be that you are yearning for an opportunity to pause and look at your life from a new perspective, which often unlock answers to the questions that you just may not take the time to ask.
If you want to find balance of mind, body and spirit, or may need to find a quiet space to switch off.
You are guided to make a stronger your connection with your sense of self, which helps you to shift into new awareness about yourself and relationships. You will learn to master the art of conscious relationships where you make considered choices about your life and relationships while restoring a sense of balance of mind body and spirit.
Living from The Heart retreat provides a ‘container’ to connect to a deeper sense of meaning and self. Support is provided along the way during a healing and restorative, silent, creative and fun week. It can be a time for finding the courage to let go of things that no longer serve you or to become aware of what you are being drawn towards.
The retreat can provide a place, a space a moment in time to allow a deeper exploration; to discover within a renewed sense of meaning; to experience a deeper sense of connection and your willingness to be open more deeply and fully, in your heart, mind and body.
Transform challenges into positive, personal, professional and spiritual transitions
Living from the Heart will support and facilitate a process of being able to go beyond your familiar mind, with its logical and sometimes restrictive ways of seeing the world to a deeper, steadier and quieter place where new insight and inspiration can bring you closer to your true identity, your true Self. From this place of balance you will find fulfilment through living your life in a more congruent way.
Find a sacred and Healing space
Retreat for Individuals and Couples
September 2018 Portugal
Living from the Heart:
T 07855 781 210
Aisha Ali is a much sought after relationship specialist. She is known for her intuitive insight, she is very skilled at getting to the core of issues and helping individuals and couples transform unwanted repeated patterns. Her clients experience support clarity, awareness and a sense of peace, balance and accomplishment.