Why Managing Emotion is Critical for Any Relationship

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Overhead View Of Couple With Relationship Problems Lying In Bed

Human beings are emotionally-driven creatures. The sad irony is that we think we are highly intelligent, advanced beings. In fact, our motivations are barely different from those of our pet dogs.
What do I mean by this? Well, what you think is actually anger and frustration at an unjust world, may well in fact be hunger.
We often think that our thoughts come first and that our emotion follows. We notice something we’re not happy about and we get angry. We remember the day our first child was born and we get happy.
But more often than not, the reverse is true. Emotion comes first and this then causes us to think a certain way. And where does emotion come from? Physiology.
When you haven’t eaten for a while for instance, this causes a dip in your blood sugar. That in turn causes an increase in cortisol – which is the stress hormone. At the same time, serotonin – the happiness hormone – drops. This is designed to kick you into action and to send you out into the world to get food. These hormones are linked with ghrelin, the hunger hormone.
You become ‘hangry’.
Then, when you eat, tryptophan enters the blood and this is converted into serotonin in the brain – the feel good hormone. That eventually turns to melatonin and we get sleepy after a big meal!
And this is what many of us refuse to realize and it is what can lead to so many unnecessary arguments and so much disruption in your relationship.
You might be looking around the kitchen right now at all the unwashed dishes. You might be thinking that you do all the work around here. Your partner never lifts a finger. And for all the thanks you get! Why do you even bother?
But the reality? You are hungry and the world seems like a dark place. They probably do lots of other good things and in the grand scheme of things, a little untidiness never killed anyone. But right now, it seems awful because you’re hungry.
So, two things to take from this right away: when you are very angry or upset, ask yourself whether something else might be causing it. Maybe you’re mainly just hungry, or over tired! Don’t act on your emotion yet. Go and cool off for a bit and only if you feel the same way later should you speak up.
Likewise, excuse this behavior in your partner. They’re being highly unreasonable and saying things they don’t mean. But they might just have had a bad day.
But more important is to try and reduce stress in your life and in the life of your partner. When we are stressed, we release more cortisol again and more of a range of other negative hormones. Moreover, it makes us tired, less kind and less moral.
When you’re very stressed or in a hurry, you are 90% more likely to push in front of someone in a queue. How do you think that translates to a happy relationship?
Citizen Coaching and Counselling provides one to one, couples and family counselling in Birmingham from our counselling centres in Birmingham City Centre and Jewellery Quarter. We have a number of counsellors that specialise in this work who can help you through difficult times. We have appointments available seven days a week – including evenings and at weekend daytimes.