Are you struggling with your relationship(s) and how to communicate effectively? If so, you are not alone. There has been so much change lately due to the Covid virus and for most people, their lives look very different from what it did before. Lack of structure and routine, lack of personal space, feelings of stress, fear, isolation and feeling trapped among others are common feelings people are experiencing.
Some recommendations when dealing with relationships or communication issues
Explore your default communication style
When there is conflict, do you tend to become more aggressive, passive aggressive or passive? Maybe your style shifts depending on the other person and situation? None of these styles are effective in resolving conflict and can keep people stuck. The healthiest style of communication is to be assertive meaning being respectful, speaking in a neutral tone, focusing on the current facts without blame, sharing your perspective without trying to control the outcome.
Understand your role in the relationship
Most often it’s easier to see other people’s faults than our own but we all play a role in the relationship. Do you tend to blame others or pressure them to do what you want? Or do you try to fix, caretake others in an effort to keep the peace? Or do you tend to get stuck in self-pity, hopelessness and not speak up? If you can relate to any of these roles but are unsure how to change, it would be beneficial to get help from a professional.
Build routine and structure into your life
Building a healthy routine and structure into your daily life is critical to getting and staying healthy. This helps you refocus your attention on your health and recovery rather than focus on what others are doing or not doing.
Question your thought pattern
Negative and distorted thoughts can take root in your mind and blow things out of proportion so don’t believe everything your brain is telling you. Consider checking out your thinking with someone you trust even if you’re convinced you are right.
Write down your thoughts
Writing down your feelings will help you identify patterns in your life that triggers you to become reactive. Ask yourself, “how” or “what” am I feeling now? Are you tired, angry, lonely, overwhelmed? Getting your feelings out will help dissipate the impact as you allow yourself to feel the feelings rather than try to suppress them which can lead to an outburst later on.
Do a daily or routine meditation
Meditation helps you train your brain to slow down and learn to let go and detach from thoughts when they arise. If sitting still and meditating is challenging, try starting with guided meditation or yoga.
Keep your body and mind healthy
Exercising regularly, eating balanced meals, getting enough sleep are all necessary to maintain sanity. H.A.L.T (hungry, angry, lonely, tired) are huge triggers for many people and something to pay attention to.
Identify and learn to manage your triggers
You can identify triggers on your own or with a therapist. Sometimes they can be obvious, like stress, financial insecurity, conflict. Long-term problems may be harder to figure out and its beneficial to get help from a professional. What are the people, places or things that are triggering your reactivity?
Are you struggling with a relationship or communication and need additional support? Contact our office for individual counselling or a comprehensive assessment.