In the past going to therapy was pejorative. Fortunately, we are now living in a time where it is considered cool to be working on yourself. By learning more effective coping strategies, we can reduce stress and feel more content with our lives.
We cannot only improve our health by decreasing stress, but we can also improve relationships, and decrease overall suffering.
One of the most common mistakes we make in relationships is assuming that our partner automatically "knows" what we are thinking/feeling. Have you ever thought to yourself, "if my partner truly loved me, he/she would (fill in the blank here) __________"? In order to receive the kind of love we need, it's best to share with our partner what our "language of love" is by verbally communicating it.
For example, you might feel most loved when your partner does something for you like clean the house; your partner may feel most loved when physical touch is involved. We can't expect our partner to read our mind, and being clear about what each person needs is critical.
One of the things we need to remember is that no one can "make" us happy or unhappy. If we feel unhappy, that is our issue. That is not to say, however, that we should just take abuse. If someone is continuously unkind to us, we have a choice to either stay in the relationship or put some distance there. We always have a choice, even if those choices seem limited.
If we examine our feelings closely, and question where they are really coming from, we will start to see that all of our feelings come from our thoughts, our perspectives - and thoughts/perspectives change. Once we truly have this mindset, we will no longer blame others for how we feel.
For example, if my spouse seems to want to watch football rather than spend time with me, I may think he cares about football more than he cares about me, and either feel rejected/sad/angry, or realize that it is my issue and question where those feelings are really coming from.
Do I easily feel rejected if I perceive that someone doesn't want to be with me? Does this feeling go back to childhood fears of abandonment?
Feelings like rejection are usually issues of transference, the shift of emotions (especially those experienced in childhood) from one person or object to another. When we look at it from this perspective, we can start to recognize our own issues that we can actually do something about. It also allows us to have compassion with ourselves and to practice self-care.
I write about human behavior, meditation, body awareness, and a variety of other things that pique my interest.