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How to Prevent Arguments & Feel More Connected with Your Partner

How to Prevent Arguments & Feel More Connected with Your Partner

The New Science is Here

The New Science of Relationship helps us understand how to prevent arguments and stay connected. One of the most powerful ways to do that is through an exercise developed by Dr. Stan Tatkin: “The Welcome Home Exercise.” With the Welcome Home Exercise, you sync up nervous systems with your partner in order to build a connection at the deeper, unconscious level. Without words, the welcome home exercise gives you both a sense of being tethered and relaxing into each other. That can prevent arguments before they even happen and provide a deep sense of connection.

Most of Our Partner Interaction is Unconscious

The welcome home exercise works on a simple premise. Most what our brain is processing during partner interactions is unconscious (as much as 90%!). Much of that is happening in the simple, more primitive part of the brain that determines safety and threat. The fight or flight system, if you will. When our partner is that close, the brain makes a calculation that they must be safe to us, otherwise they would be eating us like a tiger. Unless your partner is actually eating you like a tiger, then that assumption of safety relaxes the fight or flight system.

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Sync up For The Win!

The exercise also relies on another important premise. Our guts have more neurons than the spinal cord. When we hug belly to belly, these neurons start to sync up with each other, literally getting on the same wavelength. When partners take the time to relax into each other, the syncing up generates a real sense of being in harmony with one another. This foundational sense of connection telegraphs safety to the thinking brain, which helps it stay out of trouble.

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Welcome Home

    How to do it

    So, in order to do the welcome home exercise properly, these are the important components:

    • Hug belly to belly before words are exchanged
    • Hold the hug until both partners relax
    • Do not let others (dogs or kids) interfere with the process

    Basically, you need to take the time to feel your partner relax. You’re waiting for a sigh, or a drop of tension in their muscles. Prioritize each other and the reunion before you turn to others. And wait to talk until the ‘syncing’ has happened. At that point, it can be nice to make eye contact and ask about your partner’s day, etc., or greet the kids. The unconscious brain is already feeling safer and more connected.

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    Using Physiology Masterfully

    The welcome home exercise is just one example of how to use the power of brain science to make life with your partner easier. These are true life hacks. Once you understand how to speak directly to the more primitive part of the brain, you can get important things done quickly, like soothing your partner, helping them feel loved, and keeping a sense of connection between you.

    The Transition To Together

    You can use this welcome home exercise anytime you need it, and anytime you’ve been apart. For example, if you have been in separate rooms of the house for a couple of hours, do the Welcome Home before you start interacting together in the same room again. It will connect you more quickly and at a deeper level than talking at the usual distance can.

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    Few people know that when we are by ourselves, even for an hour, our nervous system syncs to itself and we become accustomed to our individual state of being. This can make it difficult to jump smoothly into another person’s space. Transitioning the nervous system to interacting with another person takes longer for some folks than for others, but we all need some sort of transition. The welcome home exercise is one of the most effective ways to bridge that gap quickly and avoid arguments before the thinking brain comes up with them. Have fun with it!

     

     

    Featured photo credit: ostill / 123RF Stock Photo via 123rf.com

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    Last Updated on November 11, 2019

    How to Improve Memory and Boost Your Brainpower

    How to Improve Memory and Boost Your Brainpower

    Have you ever noticed that some people are able to effortlessly remember even the most mundane details and quickly comprehend new things? Well, you can too!

    To unlock the full potential of your brain, you need to keep it active and acute. Wasting time on your couch watching mindless television shows or scrolling through facebook is not going to help.

    Besides getting out flashcards, what can you do to help remember things better and learn new things more quickly? Check out these 10 effective ways on how to improve memory:

    1. Exercise and Get Your Body Moving

    Exercising doesn’t just exercise the body, it also helps to exercise your brain. Obesity and the myriad of diseases that eventually set in as a result of being overweight can cause serious harm to the brain.

    Furthermore, without regular exercise, plaque starts to build up in your arteries, and your blood vessels begin to lose the ability to effectively pump blood. Plaque buildup leads to heart attacks and it also reduces the amount of oxygen and nutrients that your blood carries to your brain. When the nutrients don’t make it there, the brain’s ability to function is compromised.

    To prevent this from happening, make sure you get moving every day. Even if it’s just a brisk walk, it’ll help you maintain and increase your mental acuity. Brisk walking, swimming and dancing are all excellent activities. Take a look at these 5 Ways to Find Time for Exercise.

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    2. Eliminate Stressors and Seek Help If You’re Depressed

    Anything that causes you major stress, like anger or anxiety, will in time begin to eat away the parts of your brain that are responsible for memory. Amongst the most brain-damaging stressors is depression, which is actually often misdiagnosed a a memory problem since one of its primary symptoms is the inability to concentrate.

    If you can’t concentrate, then you might feel like you are constantly forgetting things. Depression increases the levels of cortisol in your bloodstream which elevates the cortisol levels in the brain. Doctors have found that increased cortisol diminishes certain areas of the brain, especially the hippocampus which is where short-term memories are stored.

    Prolonged depression can thus destroy your brain’s ability to remember anything new. Seek professional help to combat your depression – your brain will thank you.

    3. Get a Good Night’s Sleep and Take Naps

    Getting a consistent 7 to 8 hours of sleep each night will increase your memory. During sleep, the brain firms up memories of recently acquired information.

    Getting enough sleep will help you get through the full spectrum of nocturnal cycles that are essential to optimal brain and body functioning during the waking hours. Taking a nap throughout the day, especially after learning something new, can also help you to retain those memories as well as recharge your brain and keep it sharper longer.

    4. Feed Your Brain

    Fifty to sixty percent of the brain’s overall weight is pure fat, which is used to insulate its billions of nerve cells. The better insulated a cell is, the faster it can send messages and the quicker you will be thinking.

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    This is precisely why parents are advised to feed their young children whole milk and to restrict dieting – their brains’ need fat to grow and work properly. Skimping on fats can be devastating even to the adult brain.

    Thus, eating foods that contain a healthy mix of fats is vital for long-term memory. Some excellent food choices include fish (especially anchovies, mackerel and wild salmon) and dark leafy green vegetables. Here’re more brain food choices: 12 Foods that Can Improve Your Brain Power

    Deep-fried foods obviously contain fat but their lack of nutritional value is not going to help your brain or your body, so think healthy foods and fats.

    5. Eat Breakfast and Make Sure It Includes an Egg

    According to Larry McCleary, M.D., author of  The Brain Trust Program, an egg is the ideal breakfast. Eggs contain B vitamins which help nerve cells to burn glucose, antioxidants that protect neurons against damage; and omega-3 fatty acids that keep nerve cells firing at optimal speed.

    Other foods to add to your breakfast include fruits, veggies and lean proteins. Avoid trans fats and high fructose corn syrup. Trans fats diminish the brain cells’ ability to communicate with each other and HFCS can actually shrink the brain by damaging cells.

    Having a healthy breakfast in the morning has been shown to improve performance throughout the day. If you’re too busy to have a healthy breakfast, this maybe just right for you: 33 Quick And Healthy Breakfasts For Busy Mornings

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    6. Write it Down

    If there’s something you want to remember, writing it down can help.

    It may sound like a no-brainer, but do you really know why? Writing it down creates oxygenated blood flow to areas of your brain that a responsible for your memories and literally exercises those parts of it. Here’s How Writing Things Down Can Change Your Life.

    You can start a journal, write yourself emails or even start keeping a blog – all of these activities will help to improve your capacity to remember and memorize information.

    7. Listen to Music

    Research shows that certain types of music are very helpful in recalling memories. Information that is learned while listening to a particular song or collection can often be recalled by thinking of the song or “playing” it mentally. Songs and music can serve as cues for pulling up particular memories.

    8. Visual Concepts

    In order to remember things, many people need to visualize the information they are studying.

    Pay attention to photographers, charts and other graphics that might appear in your textbook; or if you’re not studying a book, try to pull up a mental image of what it is you are trying to remember. It might also help to draw your own charts or figures, or utilize colors and highlighters to group related ideas in your notes.

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    Here, you can learn How to Become a Person Who Can Visualize Results.

    9. Teach Someone Else

    Reading material out loud has been shown to significantly improve memory of the material. Expanding further upon this idea is the fact that psychologists and educators have found that by having students teach new concepts to others, it helps to enhance understanding and recall.

    Teach new concepts and information to a friend or study partner, and you’ll find you remember the information a lot better.

    10. Do Crossword Puzzles, Read or Play Cards

    Studies have shown that doing crossword puzzles, read or play cards on a daily basis not only keep your brain active but also help to delay memory loss, especially in those who develop dementia.

    So pick up the daily newspaper and work on that crossword puzzle, read a book or enjoy a game of solitaire.

    Pick one to two of these tips first and start applying them to your everyday life. Very soon you’ll find yourself having better memories and a clearer head!

    More About Boosting Memory

    Featured photo credit: Pexels via pexels.com

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