It won't last.....or will it?
Often times you hear it, the whispers.....It won't last.
Did you know there was a study that predicted the success of marriage?
The study was conducted by Robert Levenson, a psychology professor at the University of California.
Over a space of 14 years studying 79 couples, Levenson found he could predict the success of their marriage by watching them argue. He measured their levels of perspiration, anger and their frowns.
Which couple do you think he said would probably brake up with in the first seven years of marriage?
Well, the make or break factors depended on how effectively the couples controlled their emotions, those who let their emotions flare during arguments were likely to burn out sooner than those who handled their arguments in a calmer manner.
Picture this, Sarah has a terrible temper. When she is angry, well everyone knows about it.
A sense of shame often follows her outburst, partly because she is afraid of what her temper will reveal about her, and partly because she alienates people on the receiving end.
Adam on the other hand, never shouts and never vents his frustration on another person. When he is angry, he just walks away.
While Sarah suffers instantly and obviously with her temper, Adam lets his anger eat away at him, so that small hurts and grievances grow bigger and bigger. What would help them both – let’s be truthful, what would probably help us all – is to learn emotional mastery.
It’s a subtle and profound concept. It’s not about repressing or denying our feelings-be that anger, jealousy or joy or about acting on them in the heat of the moment. It’s about learning to become a true emotional adult and is one of the simplest but most powerful life skills any of us can learn.
Single or married here are some tips you can use to master your emotions before they master you:
Break away from the situation and give yourself some time to consider the problem. This will help you to decide whether you really need to go over the issue again, or whether your thoughts are just going round and round and the emotional loop need’s breaking.
It’s hard to express yourself in the heat of the moment. You can express your emotions more clearly when you are calmer. Counting to 10 gives you time to come to your senses and find distance between you and your emotions. If you are being swept away by your emotions count to 100. Being in a calm state of mind can make a crucial difference.
If you find yourself going through the same kind of emotive situations in the same old way’s do something unexpected to change the situation. Do it in a way that seems incompatible with your feelings. Go for a walk, smile at your child or hug your partner.
Writing about your feelings can help the brain regulate emotional upset. Practice writing down your thoughts, it could be one word, a whole page, a poem or lyrics to a song.
Studies of brain scans show that putting feelings down on paper reduces activity in the parts of the brain that’s responsible for controlling the intensity of our emotions.
Professor McCullough in his study on religion found that religious people have more self-control. This is because regular ritual of prayer affects parts of the brain that are the most important for self-regulation. But you don’t have to be religious to gain the benefits, brief regular sessions of meditation can yield significant rewards too.
Try these tips out, there is a wealth of psychological and physical benefits that grow from learning to keep our emotions in check.
Playing it cool is the new cool. It’s what psychologist call our ‘emotional regulations’. Mastering our emotions is an essential life skill. In fact, own it and it's powerful!
Until next time. As always let me know how you get on I would love to hear from you.
"Words … They’re innocent, neutral, precise, standing for this, describing that, meaning the other, so if you look after them you can build bridges across incomprehension and chaos. But when they get their corners knocked off, they’re no good any more… I don’t think writers are sacred, but words are. They deserve respect. If you get the right ones in the right order, you can nudge the world a little or make a poem which children will speak for you when you’re dead"
~Tom Stoppard, The Real Thing: A Play