"The most precious gift you can give to to your partner and yourself is to create an environment that is both nurturing and peaceful". - Melissa Ferrari.
It's not just vitamins, juices or quality food that can boost your immune system. Research has shown that unhappy marriages and stressed relationships weaken the immune system and couples with healthy relationships have 35% fewer illnesses. You can strengthen your relationship by focusing on micro-exchanges, affectionate touch, nervous system regulation and the awareness of subtle disruptions and separations that can affect the quality of a relationship. These tips will help couples strengthen their relationship and give you the immune system boost.
5 Tips To Strengthening Your Relationship
1. Fight fair
being in a partnership involves making the responsible decision to fight fair and this involves paying conscious attention to our tone of voice, choosing gentler words and generally softening our communication. Focusing on these things is important because in combination they reduce the stress response in your partner as well as settling and soothing both your nervous systems which smooths the way for better communication and strengthens your couple bubble.
2. Don’t use email, text or the phone to fight
Conflict escalates when we are fighting in the absence of face-to-face contact because the non-verbal cues (like the incongruity between harsh words and softness or tender facial expressions are not seen).
Being in front of your partner means you can look at each other eye-to-eye and therefore see more of what is going on inside each other’s minds and nervous system. While on that subject, don't argue sitting in the car together next to each other - there are too many distractions and with both of you facing the same way you can’t read your partner’s non-verbal communication easily.
3. Aim for a happy relationship as it protects you both
A happy relationship means there is less stress, without stress there is less stimulation of hormones like cortisol which elevated when we face conflict, worry and painful experiences in a couple relationship can compromise our health and well-being. Long term exposure to stress hormones has a negative effect on our immunity so keeping your relationship on track is good for our health overall.
4. Commit to a daily greeting ritual
Greeting each other positively at the end of the day can have a powerful and positive effect on your relationship. Watch here where Dr. Stan Tatkin co-creator of a Psychobiological Approach to Couple Therapy (PACT) talks about The Welcome Home exercise and it's benefits.
5. Don’t threaten to leave
“Our brains are wired for attachment and being loved, and it’s always searching for what feels safe and secure. Happy couples don’t threaten break-up or divorce at the first sign of trouble, as this can have a long-lasting, negative impact on the relationship. Your partner may struggle to ever feel safe in the relationship again, and worry that you will leave for good next time there is an argument. Talk to your partner if you are unhappy, and consider seeing a couple’s therapist. Tell your partner how serious things feel for you, but never threaten to end a marriage in a heated argument or to manipulate.”
For more tips, daily quotes and information about love, dating, relationships and happiness visit my Facebook page Melissa Ferrari - Psychotherapist & Relationship Expert. Also available is information about couple therapy and how it can help your relationships.