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The DNA of Mindful Relationships
34 minutes | 5 months ago
Ep 26 - Keeping the Romance Alive
Alex's episode and Di interviews himHow to keep the romance alive beyond the honeymoon periodLove languages:Acts of serviceActs of touchQuality timeGiftsWords of AffirmationWho is responsible for romance?Micro-romancetext messagescomplimentsgratitude
32 minutes | 6 months ago
Ep 25 - Am I Co-Dependent
Do you use up all of your energy in meeting your partner’s needs? Do you feel trapped in your relationship? Are you the one that is constantly making sacrifices? Then you just may be in a co-dependent relationship.Co-dependency is a behavioral condition in a relationship where one person enables another person's addiction, poor mental health, immaturity, irresponsibility, or under-achievement. Among the core characteristics of co-dependency is an excessive reliance on other people for approval and a sense of identity.Who Does Co-Dependency Affect?Co-dependency often affects a spouse, a parent, sibling, friend, or co-worker of a person afflicted with alcohol or drug dependence. Originally, co-dependent was a term used to describe partners in chemical dependency, persons living with, or in a relationship with an addicted person. Similar patterns have been seen in people in relationships with chronically or mentally ill individuals. Today, however, the term has broadened to describe any co-dependent person from any dysfunctional family.What Is A Dysfunctional Family And How Does It Lead To Co-Dependency?A dysfunctional family is one in which members suffer from fear, anger, pain, or shame that is ignored or denied. Underlying problems may include any of the following:An addiction by a family member to drugs, alcohol, relationships, work, food, sex, or gambling.The existence of physical, emotional, or sexual abuse.The presence of a family member suffering from a chronic mental or physical illness.A family member that is highly irresponsible and allowed to get away with 'murder'Dysfunctional families do not acknowledge that problems exist. They don’t talk about them or confront them. As a result, family members learn to repress emotions and disregard their own needs. They become “survivors.” They develop behaviours that help them deny, ignore, or avoid difficult emotions. They detach themselves. They don’t talk. They don’t touch. They don’t confront. They don’t feel. They don’t trust.Attention and energy focus on the family member who is ill or addicted. The co-dependent person typically sacrifices his or her needs to take care of a person who is sick. When co-dependents place other people’s health, welfare and safety before their own, they can lose contact with their own needs, desires, and sense of self.How Do Co-Dependent People Behave?Co-dependents have low self-esteem and look for anything outside of themselves to make them feel better. They find it hard to “be themselves.” Some try to feel better through alcohol, drugs or nicotine - and become addicted. Others may develop compulsive behaviours like workaholism, gambling, or indiscriminate sexual activity.They have good intentions. They try to take care of a person who is experiencing difficulty, but the caretaking becomes compulsive and defeating. Co-dependents often take on a martyr’s role and become “benefactors” to an individual in need. A wife may cover for her alcoholic husband; a mother may make excuses for a truant child; or a father may “pull some strings” to keep his child from suffering the consequences of delinquent behaviour.The problem is that these repeated rescue attempts allow the needy individual to continue on a destructive course and to become even more dependent on the unhealthy caretaking of the “benefactor.” As this reliance increases, the co-dependent develops a sense of reward and satisfaction from “being needed.” When the caretaking becomes compulsive, the co-dependent feels choiceless and helpless in the relationship, but is unable to break away from the cycle of behaviour that causes it. Co-dependents view themselves as victims and are attracted to that same weakness in the love and friendship relationships.Characteristics Of Co-Dependent People Are:An exaggerated sense of responsibility for the actions of othersA tendency to confuse love and pity, with the tendency to “love” people they can pity and rescueA tendency to do more than their share, all of the timeA tendency to become hurt when people don’t recognize their effortsAn unhealthy dependence on relationships. The co-dependent will do anything to hold on to a relationship; to avoid the feeling of abandonmentAn extreme need for approval and recognitionA sense of guilt when asserting themselvesA compelling need to control othersLack of trust in self and/or othersFear of being abandoned or aloneDifficulty identifying feelingsRigidity/difficulty adjusting to changeProblems with intimacy/boundariesChronic angerLying/dishonestyPoor communicationsDifficulty making decisionsHow Is Co-Dependency Treated?Because co-dependency is usually rooted in a person’s childhood, treatment often involves exploration into early childhood issues and their relationship to current destructive behaviour patterns. Treatment includes education, experiential groups, and individual and group therapy through which co-dependents rediscover themselves and identify self-defeating behaviour patterns. Treatment also focuses on helping patients getting in touch with feelings that have been buried during childhood and on reconstructing family dynamics. The goal is to allow them to experience their full range of feelings again.When Co-Dependency Hits HomeThe first step in changing unhealthy behaviour is to understand it. It is important for co-dependents and their family members to educate themselves about the course and cycle of addiction and how it extends into their relationships. Libraries, drug and alcohol abuse treatment centres and mental health centres often offer educational materials and programs to the public.A lot of change and growth is necessary for the co-dependent and his or her family. Any caretaking behaviour that allows or enables abuse to continue in the family needs to be recognized and stopped. The co-dependent must identify and embrace his or her feelings and needs. This may include learning to say “no,” to be loving yet tough, and learning to be self-reliant. People find freedom, love, and serenity in their recovery.Hope lies in learning more. The more you understand co-dependency the better you can cope with its effects. Reaching out for information and assistance can help someone live a healthier, more fulfilling life.
35 minutes | 6 months ago
Ep 24 - Breaking Up is Hard to Do
A relationship break up is one of the more stressful life events anyone could go through but sometimes its just plain necessary.Sign #1: A loss of the Us-nessDo they tell the 'story of us' in positive playful way keeping irritability and emotional distance in the closet.When negativity takes over its hard to remember the good times.Sign #2: Weak Fondness and AdmirationThere is a major difference between couples who last and couples who separate. Happy couples tell their Story of Us with warmth, affection, and respect for each other.Couples who break up tend to recall unfavourable first impressions with their partners. The words they use to describe their relationship feel cold. The story unhappy couples tell will focus on a major blow-up rather than a fun time or happy memory.Sign #3: Me-ness Dominates We-nessHappy couples tell their stories with a sense of “we-ness,” or of solidarity. You get the feeling that they are “in this together.” Often their words show similar beliefs, values, and goals.When the solidarity and togetherness is lost, partners often describe their history in a way that emphasizes how it affected them individually (“me-ness”), rather than as a couple. They prioritize getting what they want and ignore their partner’s needs.Unhappy couples become gridlocked by negative arguments because they are focusing on me, not we. When they each try to win, there is no solidarity in the relationship.Sign #4: Impersonal Details of PartnersWhen couples have vivid and distinct memories of each other, it’s a sign that they understand and respect each other, and that they know each other well and do their best to be there for each other. It’s important to know what makes your partner sad or happy, or what your partner cares about.Couples who lack this connection do not reminisce with humour or vivid memories. They talk about their history in an impersonal way, mentioning nothing specific about each other.Sign #5: Relationship Struggles Push You ApartCouples who talk about their history as chaotic are often unhappy. The stories they share are not about pulling together , or of making light of them even if they were difficult at the time. It’s clear that the past troubles and conflicts did not strengthen their bond. It pushed them apart.What matters is how couples interpret the negative and positive events in their history. Even if there are a number of negative events, happy couples can discuss how they grew together from those events—even if they resulted in a temporary disconnection.Sign #6: The Relationship Falls Short of Your ExpectationsIt’s a clear sign a couple is at a risk of splitting when one partner expresses disappointment in how the relationship has ended up. When these partners recall choices in the past, they often express cynicism about long-term commitment. And when they make those cynical statements, they are short, and they don’t try to explain nuances of the situation.
30 minutes | 7 months ago
Ep 23 - Two's Company...
In any monogamous intimate relationship there are often people and things that can interfere in the strong connection between two people and become the third 'member' of the relationship. Instead of a strong bond or connection the relationship is diluted by this third entity. The energy that you need to put into the us of the relationship is shared between three components instead of two. This could include:This 'threesome' could include:a frienda parent or family membera child or childrena mobile phoneworka peta hobbythe gym or exerciseyour religiona lover - this is seen as a betrayal. What about all the other's?This can start to weaken the connection as one person is turning away from the relationship and turning towards someone or something else.It only becomes problematic if one person in the relationship starts feeling unhappy, distant, unloved or cared for.What can we do about it?Bring up your concern about it in a gentle wayLook at ways to create more connection and intimacy away from the other entity.Set up some rules
29 minutes | 7 months ago
Ep 22 - Surviving Menopause
OverviewMenopause is the time that marks the end of your menstrual cycles. It's diagnosed after you've gone 12 months without a menstrual period. Menopause can happen in your 40s or 50s, but the average age is 51 in the United States.Menopause is a natural biological process. But the physical symptoms, such as hot flashes, and emotional symptoms of menopause may disrupt your sleep, lower your energy or affect emotional health. There are many effective treatments available, from lifestyle adjustments to hormone therapy.SymptomsIn the months or years leading up to menopause (perimenopause), you might experience these signs and symptoms:Irregular periodsVaginal drynessHot flashesChillsNight sweatsSleep problemsMood changesWeight gain and slowed metabolismThinning hair and dry skinLoss of breast fullnessComplicationsAfter menopause, your risk of certain medical conditions increases. Examples include:Heart and blood vessel (cardiovascular) disease. When your oestrogen levels decline, your risk of cardiovascular disease increases. Heart disease is the leading cause of death in women as well as in men. So it's important to get regular exercise, eat a healthy diet and maintain a normal weight. Ask your doctor for advice on how to protect your heart, such as how to reduce your cholesterol or blood pressure if it's too high.Osteoporosis. This condition causes bones to become brittle and weak, leading to an increased risk of fractures. During the first few years after menopause, you may lose bone density at a rapid rate, increasing your risk of osteoporosis. Postmenopausal women with osteoporosis are especially susceptible to fractures of their spine, hips and wrists.Urinary incontinence. As the tissues of your vagina and urethra lose elasticity, you may experience frequent, sudden, strong urges to urinate, followed by an involuntary loss of urine (urge incontinence), or the loss of urine with coughing, laughing or lifting (stress incontinence). You may have urinary tract infections more often.Strengthening pelvic floor muscles with Kegel exercises and using a topical vaginal estrogen may help relieve symptoms of incontinence. Hormone therapy may also be an effective treatment option for menopausal urinary tract and vaginal changes which can result in urinary incontinence.Sexual function. Vaginal dryness from decreased moisture production and loss of elasticity can cause discomfort and slight bleeding during sexual intercourse. Also, decreased sensation may reduce your desire for sexual activity (libido).Water-based vaginal moisturizers and lubricants may help. If a vaginal lubricant isn't enough, many women benefit from the use of local vaginal oestrogen treatment, available as a vaginal cream, tablet or ring.Weight gain. Many women gain weight during the menopausal transition and after menopause because metabolism slows. You may need to eat less and exercise more, just to maintain your current weight.Debunking the male menopause mythThe term "male menopause" has been used to describe decreasing testosterone levels related to aging. But aging-related hormone changes in women and men are different.In women, ovulation ends and hormone production plummets during a relatively short period of time. This is known as menopause. In men, production of testosterone and other hormones declines over a period of many years and the consequences aren't necessarily clear. But most older men still have testosterone levels within the normal range, with only an estimated 10% to 25% having levels considered to be low.How can I support My partner going through Menopause?How to Survive Her MenopauseTo help keep the peace at home, consider the following tips:Be prepared for the ups and downs of her moods:Unless you’re with one of the few lucky women who aren’t bothered with menopause symptoms, mood swings are likely. This happens as the female hormones estrogen and progesterone surge and ebb in the body.Grumpiness can also result from poor sleep, which menopausal women experience as they deal with hot flashes and night sweats. “When you don’t sleep well, everything is just kind of crazy,” Gibbs says.Flexibility is the key to dealing with mood swings, even the ones that seem to be caused by … nothing. If your partner is steamed because you brought home the wrong brand of milk, for example, give her some space instead of getting defensive. Likewise, if she’s sobbing at a cat food commercial, lend her a shoulder to cry on. And, perhaps most importantly, don’t complain if she turns the thermostat to just a few degrees above freezing. “Bundle up under a blanket if you have to,” Gibbs suggests.Be patient in the bedroom.Sex can, quite literally, be a sore spot for a woman going through menopause. As estrogen levels drop, the tissue in and around the vagina can dry out, making it more sensitive. “Estrogen makes the tissue soft and pliable,” Gibbs says. “When women go through menopause, it just gets paper-thin. They can get cuts just from using toilet paper.”Many women also tend to lose interest in sex during menopause because their levels of the male hormone testosterone, which helps fuel libido, can drop along with other hormones. “Women have it in small amounts, and it’s derived from some of the estrogen in our bodies,” Gibbs says. “So we actually lose a little of our testosterone, too.”The bottom line? Be patient. If your partner just isn’t in the mood (again), don’t press the issue. Most women’s libidos usually revive after menopause is complete. If she’s willing but has physical pain, suggest she talk to her doctor about vaginal estrogen creams to help relieve the dryness.Make her feel beautiful.Many women feel less than feminine as they go through menopause. Some mourn the loss of their reproductive abilities. Others may find their weight creeping up, even if they’re maintaining their normal diet and exercise routines. Add that to the constant hot flashes, — “the body’s function is in overdrive,” Gibbs says — and you’ve got a recipe for one sweaty, unhappy woman.To help improve your wife’s self-image, remind her that she looks great. You can also suggest a date night, a leisurely dinner out over a glass of wine, for example, or even just an evening on the couch with some movies or playing cards.Know that menopause is not forever.Menopause may seem like the bad gift that keeps on giving, but you can take comfort in knowing that things do get better. The transition into menopause can last up to eight years or so, but most women feel their symptoms most acutely for only about two years.
34 minutes | 7 months ago
Ep 21 - Liar, Liar. Pants on Fire!
Intro: Is it ever ok to tell a lie? What is the impact of lies and secrets on our relationships and how do you recognise a lie when its disguised as something else?The different types of lies you can tellIs it ever ok to tell a lie? White lie.What's the impact of secrets and lies on a relationshipHow do you deal with lies when they show up.Relationships thrive on trust. It is the solid foundation that the relationship framework is built on. Lets say that the framework is made of wood then telling lies over a period of time would be like termites eating away at your framework that you've both worked hard to build and the whole structure slowly but surely falling down around you both. With lies comes mistrust and insecurity and a dysfunctional relationship. Lies are the antithesis of building trust and a strong connection. Being open and vulnerable with your truth can at times be the more challenging option but almost always leads to a more rewarding relationship. Lies keep us disconnected and distant: Truth & Openness leads to deeper intimacy in all relationships.White lie: is an innocuous lie that we use to spare our partners feelings. Most people use these to help the relationship move along without needing to debate or discuss every little thing. e.g: does my bum look big in this...or "I'm fine..." "dinner was lovely..."Lets look at 7 types of lies people use:Error—a lie by mistake. The person believes they are being truthful, but what they are saying is not the complete truth.Omission – leaving out relevant information. Easier and least risky. It doesn’t involve inventing any stories. It is passive deception and less guilt is involved. (leave out the cost of a new purchase) (wanting children)Restructuring—distorting the context. Saying something in sarcasm, changing the characters, or the altering the scene. (talking about your past)Denial—refusing to acknowledge a truth. The extent of denial can be quite large—they may be lying only to you just this one time or they may be lying to themselves.Minimization—reducing the effects of a mistake, a fault, or a judgment call. (illness)Exaggeration—representing as greater, better, more experienced, more successful. (finances)Fabrication—deliberately inventing a false story. (cheating)You’re not fessing up about your pastRelationships thrive on trust. That requires letting go and showing your partner who you were as well as who you are. That doesn’t mean you have to spill your guts about every skeleton in your closet on the first date, but letting someone in, over time, is imperative, if you want to have a relationship that can withstand the bad times that inevitably come to everyone. Remember that withholding the truth can impact upon a relationship in exactly the same way that lying or micro-cheating does. “Things you should never lie about include why your last relationship ended,” says Kimberly Hershenson, LMSW, a licensed therapist. “It’s important for your partner to know what went wrong for you in the past, and if you’re still continuing the same behaviours. And, that includes cheating.” Hershenson also includes mental health issues in this list. “Knowing if you’ve struggled with depression, anxiety, or substance use is important, because it gives your partner information about potential triggers which might arise for you,” she adds. It’s also important to let your partner know if you’ve done jail time, declared bankruptcy, dropped out of school, or have any other deep, dark secret you’d rather not share. Chances are, once you fess up, you’ll feel a new freedom, and the kind of emotional vulnerability needed to be truly loved, and loving. Here are the 15 signs your relationship is solid as a rock.Money mattersWhen partners have hidden or outright lied about their ability to contribute to the financial stability of the relationships. Pretending you have less than you do or even pretending that you have more than you do.“Combining finances takes a lot of trust, and that trust is betrayed in a really painful way, when partners have hidden, or outright lied, about their ability to contribute to financial stability in their relationship,” Francis says. Pretending you have less than you do, is just as lethal as pretending you have more than you do. The money conversation is integral. Without it, you can’t realistically plan for a future together. The best way to tackle this conversation is head on, whether you have debt or wealth. It’s better to come clean, and come up with a pre-nup, or other financial plan, than to lie about your bank account. Getting off on the right foot about your finances can help create a foundation that will enable you to have an honest, shared plan about money, throughout your relationship. How you spend, and what you save, is a lifelong issue. No surprise, then, that money makes the list of top 10 things couples fight about.You really want (or don’t want) kidsThis is a biggie. If you know that your partner wants, or doesn’t want kids, and your desire is the exact opposite, you’ve got to fess up about it. That way you can decide if your future should be together, or not. “Sometimes, partners overtly tell untruths about their goals, wants, and needs, in order to be flexible. This form of dishonesty can create fear, resentment, and anxiety in a relationship. When a partner does not feel free to be himself/herself, this builds up frustration over time,” says Carla Marie Manly, PhD, clinical psychologist. Here are the questions every couple needs to answer before deciding to have kids.You cheatedCheating is not just a lie but a betrayal of the relationship agreement that you are an exclusive couple.Wendy L. Patrick, JD, PhD, author of the book, Red Flags. “Lying about spending time with another person is a death knell to a relationship, and a lie partners should never tell,”Esther Perel, a well known couples therapist has written a book about cheating called "The state of affairs" She doesnt believe it is necessarily a sign of the end of the relationship as a couple but definitely the death of the old relationship...an opportunity to re-build something new from the ashes.“One of the worst lies couples can tell each other has to do with the single most lethal relationship threat: The Other,” says Wendy L. Patrick, JD, PhD, author of the book, Red Flags. “Lying about spending time with another person is a death knell to a relationship, and a lie partners should never tell,” she adds. Not only do they need to know for the health of your relationship but also for their physical health, as cheating puts the other partner at risk for STDs. This honesty policy applies to emotional affairs as well as physical affairs, she adds. On the flip side, these are the 12 signs you’ve got a cheating spouse.You’re not ill, and pretending to be“Couples should always be honest with one another about health. Telling your partner you are sick, injured, or terminally ill (yes, this happens) is cruel and manipulative,”Telling your partner you are sick, injured, or terminally ill (yes, this happens) is cruel and manipulative,” says Francis. “These lies are often told in order to evoke pity or guilt, ultimately with the intent of being nurtured, or taken care of, more than is warranted,” she explains. Francis suggests thinking about your motives for this behaviour. “Ask yourself, why am I doing this? What am I hoping to gain? Am I being fair to the other person? If you are struggling to make these decisions, or find yourself telling similar lies in different relationships, recognize that this is a pattern of behaviour that can make you an unsafe person to partner with, which likely does not feel very good for you, either. Most people do not lie if they believe they have other options,” she adds. It’s not just lying, here are the other habits that destroy trust in a relationship.You’re ill, and pretending not to beAlmost as bad a lie, is hiding your failing health from your partner, Francis says.Many people do this to protect their significant other from the pain of dealing with a bad diagnosis, or from fear about the future.Either motive is ill-founded. Solid relationships are built on trust, and the desire to be there for each other, come what may. Lying about an illness you have, even if it is terminal, robs your partner of the ability to support, and care for you, which may come back to haunt them, creating guilt, later on. It will also help to fill in the blanks they may be wondering about, based on changes in your behaviour, mood, or health, that they have noticed, but not gotten answers about. Whether you’re married or not, it’s “in sickness and in health,” remember?You’re pretending it’s OK with you, but it’s not—especially in bed“Couples should never lie about anything that bothers them in the relationship, or any topic of significance,” says Marni Feuerman, PhD, LCSW, Lying about your feelings can range from where you want to eat dinner, to where you want to live, to sexual satisfaction. Pretending to enjoy a less than satisfactory sex life is bound to sabotage your relationship eventually. “Lying often becomes a slippery slope that becomes easier to do than telling the truth. Some people may also start to “compartmentalize,” and the norm becomes to keep secrets about certain aspects of their life,” Dr. Feuerman says. If you are lying about your sex life (or anything else), it’s time to get honest with your partner about your needs and desires. If that feels too scary, it might be time to enlist a professional counsellor or sex therapist.How do you manage the lie if you think your partner is lying? Confronting the person head on and accusing them of lying can ignite an explosive argumentIf something doesn't make sense or is not logical, ask clarifying questions. Don't just let it go. At the very least your partner will know that you know that they are not telling the full storyComing from a place of love and compassion encourage your partner to tell them what is really bothering themFocus on how 'the lie' has impacted on you and how it left you feeling so that it build some empathy in them.when your partner comes clean, thank them for doing so and tell them how much you appreciate the honesty you've shared. This is called positive reinforcement. In that way you are encouraging the positive behaviours to continue.How do you manage a chronic liar or cheater? If you have tried all of the above and it is making you miserable, you may need to leave for your own wellbeing.
36 minutes | 8 months ago
Ep 20 - High Anxiety
Intro: Are there times when you feel anxious, worried or stressed and don't know how to help yourself feel better? Or does your partner have similar anxious episodes and you're at a loss as to how to support them?Anxiety: A feeling of apprehension and fear, characterized by physical symptoms such as heart palpitations, sweating, and feelings of stress. Anxiety is more than just worry or stress, which is a common feeling that we all feel. In the absence of an actual life event that creates fear or apprehension, It can be an indicator that something is not quite right. It's really appropriate to have anxiety symptoms before you give a presentation at work, particularly if its something you don't do that often. Is it within the realms of normal to have anxiety symptoms when there is nothing external to you to trigger that response and it happens quite regularly? No, this is often a sign that you have shifted into the realm of an anxiety disorder.How do people express their anxiety?People express their anxiety in many different ways. Some people become withdrawn and quiet. They prefer their own company to that of others.Some people get so anxious that it comes out in irritability and verbal attacks on others.Some people get very needy and cling to their loved ones for comfort and security.Ways to Manage your own anxiety.The first step is recognise it for what it is. Notice what happens in your body when you are feeling anxious. It will be different for everybody:is your chest feeling tightis your throat feeling dryis their discomfort in your stomachare you developing a headache or migraineare you feeling tense in your neck and shouldersis your heart racingare your hands sweatyare you sleeping too much or not getting enough sleepeating more than usual or eating very littleThe quickest and easiest thing you can do next is to notice your breath. Your breath is always with you. This quickly re-focuses the brain onto a present moment reality. The here and now. There rae many different types of deep breathing techniques and I'll name a couple. The first I call 4,5,6 breathing. Another is 7/11.Once you've done some breathing and IF you are aware of the trigger or cause of the anxiety symptoms. Examine your thoughts around the worry. Start writing them down so you can understand them better. You cannot manage something you don't acknowledge. IF you can't identify the triggers and everythingRe-engage the logical and adult part of your brain. Our anxiety thought come from a very young part of ourselves that is very black and white, right or wrong and does not allow for grey areas. For example, if your fear is about going to a party or event and that everyone will be staring at you. One of the most powerful questions you can ask yourself is "Can you be certain its true?" when you really think about it that way you quickly realise that everyone at the party is most likely focussed on their own conversation with the person in front of them and not about you walking in. Don't always believe your thoughts as being true. Question them constantly. Is it really true ?Distractions are another way to consciously guide the mind away from the anxiety provoking thoughts and onto something else. This could be listening to soothing music, reading a book, watching a movie, learning a new skill, having a massage, drawing. You have to find what works for you as some activities can allow your mind to wonder which can exacerbate the negative thoughts.Exercise and movement is one of the most underrated forms of anxiety reduction. A 20 - 30 min vigorous walk can release endorphins the feel good hormone that can counter act the anxiety symptoms. There are some endorphin releasing foods too like dark chocolate, strawberries, bananas, nuts, brown rice to name a few.How to help you partner with anxiety:Firstly realise that you cannot 'fix' your partners anxiety for them. It is something that they have to take responsibility for but there are things you can do that make it a supportive environment for them.Open the discussion about it in a non-shaming or accusatory way. For example, "i'm worried about you...." "when you get anxious over .....and respond by....it makes me feel sad" "Can we talk about it further?"Ask them directly, what you can do to support them during an episode of anxiety. It could be to just give them a hug or listen without giving advice or to give them space, but let them define what that looks like.If it gets so severe that it is interfering not only in their life but your relationship then suggest seeing a counsellor or therapist together to help build your partners capacity to manage their anxiety better.
34 minutes | 8 months ago
Ep. 19 Living in Lockdown
It's always ok to not feel ok but right now during COVID-19 it's especially ok to not feel ok.It's ok to not feel ok: Feeling of uncertainty and lack of control. In a time of little control, find something you do have control over and control the heck out of it! Like organising your closet or the pantry. It can be very grounding and give you a sense of mastery amongst the chaos. There can also be an underlying feeling of grief and loss:Routine and dress: create a morning routine and dress for your day.Eat well and stay hydrated and Move: Walking, and any other physical activity is great to shift a flat mood state.Connect with others. Keep your family and friendship connections alive. No excuses now with Zoom and other means.If you have children: expect increase in anxiety, testing your limits, sleep difficulties and some melt downs. Focus on strengthening the connection through physical touch play, reading books and doing activities together and verbal reassurance that you will be there for them in this time.Managing others in the household: give everyone a wide berth. This is not a time to nit pick and bring up old grievances or hold a grudge. Focus on safety and maintaining the attachment Everyone is doing the best they can.Alone time: Everyone needs to find their own sacred retreat space whether its going for a walk alone or a place to relax and recline or just time to watch your favourite escapist shows on Netflix.Feel ok about not getting all the things on your 'to do list' done. Practice radical self-acceptance. Anecdotally, I know people are feeling anxious and stressed about the health crisis but also carrying guilt about the belief that they should be achieving more in this time.Decrease the amount of COVID-19 news updates you are reading. It can easily spiral out of control and create a bleak outlook.Count your blessings and practice appreciation. Notice the helpers, the positive stories that are always hidden in a crisis.Reach out for help to your partner a friend or a professional counsellor. Our government has recognised the impact of this pandemic on everybody's mental health and provided 20 subsidised sessions with a psychologist or mental health practitioner. make use of it.
35 minutes | 8 months ago
Ep. 18 We're Back!
After a break of almost 2 years, we're back!What have we been up to?Are we still together?Has Alex improved his dad jokes?Join us as we catch up on what has been happening as we begin season 2.
27 minutes | 2 years ago
Ep. 16 Family Feud
In this episode Di interviews Alex about that time of the year where there are family events and gatherings and what can you do if there is bad blood or tension between you and a family member.We also reflect on our 1st year of 16 episodes of The DNA of Mindful Relationships and thank our listeners for their feedback and look forward to a new year of interesting podcast topics in 2019.
36 minutes | 2 years ago
Ep. 15 Let's Talk About Sex Baby
What is sexual intimacy? Sex is an act shared between you and your spouse that feels great and brings you closer. Intimacy is a close emotional bond between you and a partner. Bring the two together and you have a deep connection that will strengthen your marriage.Being intimate means more than just getting physical with your partner. Having sexual intimacy with your partner creates a deep emotional connection that contributes to a more satisfying sexual bond. Not everyone will find it easy to develop sexual intimacy and connect with their spouse during sex. That’s why we’re looking at 6 ways you can deepen your bond with your partner through sexual intimacy.People let down their emotional guards during sex. Also, the release of the “cuddle hormone” oxytocin triggers feelings of connectedness that allows partners to be vulnerable and establish trust with one another.A new and extremely well-conducted investigation by Anik Debrot and colleagues (2017) points to the surprising role not of the sex itself, but of the affection that accompanies sexuality between partners. The impact of sex on happiness was accounted for, in large part, by increases in affection linked to prior sexual activity.It discusses how men and women may perceive sexual intimacy differently: Men need physical closeness to open up and share emotional intimacy and women need emotional intimacy to explore the possibility of something physical. This can often create frustration in relationships and turn into a sexual stalemate.Di also shared that studies show that couples that are the happiest with their relationship feel comfortable and safe to say, 'no' to sex without the fear of a negative response, anger or sulking. This can create a respect and sense of safety that brings about more closeness than before.
35 minutes | 2 years ago
Ep. 14: Desperately Seeking Intimacy
What is intimacy?The concept of intimacy involves a mutually consensual relationship where two individuals reciprocate feelings of trust, emotional and physical closeness toward each other.The 4 main types of intimacy include:1. Intellectual intimacyAre you both on the same wavelength? Do you “get” each other? Can you talk ‘til all hours of the night about anything and everything?2. Emotional closenessMany couples may be together for a long time, but lack this type of intimacy. That’s because this one is probably the scariest. When you are emotionally close, it means you are vulnerable. You let your guard down and feel safe doing so. When you feel this kind of closeness, you can tell each other anything and feel accepted. You both can “feel” what the other person is feeling.3. Spiritual bondWhen you form a spiritual bond, you both understand each other’s spiritual quest and beliefs. You allow the relationship to have a spiritual component.4. Sexual expressionBeing “intimate” is at the root of the word “intimacy,” but is it just sex, or is it more than that? If you are both able to feel free to express yourselves in a sexual way and feel comfortable with each other, than you have reached a good level of intimacy. It is more than just sex — you are sharing that most special part of yourself.
33 minutes | 3 years ago
Ep. 13: Relationship Ready
Let's talk about getting relationship fit. We get fit and healthy for summer or we get a service or tune up for our cars. Why don't we place as much effort and care into getting ready for a relationship as we do with other things in life?1. Know what you want and what you don't want:make a list of what your future partner's values would beFamily, money, relating to others, kindnessNot a shopping list of superficial things like looks, body type, height etc..2. Know your boundaries:what are you not prepared to put up with?smoker, abuser, alcoholic, violentcriticized and disrespectedset up simple dating rules that work for you: With online dating keep online contact brief, then a phone call then the First date is coffee, brief and simple.Reflect on how you unknowingly allowed /accepted the bad behaviourThen make a commitment to never ever allow that again.3. Make a plan of how you will set out to meet peopledating onlinejoin some meet up groupsjoin an activity you lovetalk to friends about your intention to have a relationship4. Practice being honest, upfront and assertive with your friends and colleaguesthe key to weeding out the wrong people is to be able to be yourself which includes being able to communicate with your date when something is upsetting you or not working for you etc..how he/she responds is often a great indicator of whether they can handle your honesty and your truth. There is no point in dating someone for months and months and you are holding back your true feelings from them.5. Reflect on and laugh about dating mishaps and learn from each experienceYou will have some dates that either don't go anywhere or are completely wrong for you.Instead of being disheartened by those experiences see them as opportunities to learn and grow about dating. Maybe you had a gut reaction that was a bit suspicious about a date but met up anyway...listen to your gut instinct. It could be the tone of voice or in the first meeting.6. Never give up: Persistence will pay off. If you truly believe that being in a relationship is what you want then keep going. Believe in the process and that you're destined to meet someone amazing.
30 minutes | 3 years ago
Ep. 12: Lost In Translation
Dr Gary Chapman wrote The Five Love Languages in 1995. Chapman suggests that to discover another person's love language, one must observe the way they express love to others, and analyze what they complain about most often and what they request from their significant other most often. He theorizes that people tend to naturally give love in the way that they prefer to receive love, and better communication between couples can be accomplished when one can demonstrate caring to the other person in the love language the recipient understands. An example would be if a man does something he doesn't normally do such as when he does the laundry for his wife and she doesn't perceive that as an act of love, viewing it as simply performing household duties, because the love language she comprehends is words of affirmation (verbal affirmation that he loves her). The 5 love languages are:l. Words of affirmation – using words to build up the other person. “Thanks fortaking out the garbage.” Not – “It’s about time you took the garbage out. Theflies were going to carry it out for you.”2. Receiving Gifts – a gift says, “He was thinking about me. Look what he got for me.”3. Acts of Service – Doing something for your partner that you know they wouldlike. Cooking a meal, washing dishes, vacuuming floors, are all acts of service.4. Quality time – by which I mean, giving your partner your undivided attention.Taking a walk together or sitting on the couch with the TV off – talking andlistening.5. Physical touch-holding hands, hugging, kissing, sexual intercourse, are allexpressions of love.Out of these five, each of you has a primary love language which speaks moredeeply to you than all the others. Discovering each other’s language and speakingit regularly is the best way to keep love alive in a relationship.
34 minutes | 3 years ago
Ep. 11: Assert Thy Self
In this episode, Di and Alex explore the difference between different styles of communication including Assertiveness, Passiveness and Aggressive behaviour and how some people confuse aggression for assertion. Di states that the main aim of effective communication is to create a win-win situation to get what you want without walking all over the other person.
28 minutes | 3 years ago
Ep. 10: Unravelling Travellings
Holidays are meant to be a time of fun and unwinding but sometimes travelling with your partner can cause stress from being out of your normal routine and having to make decisions on things such as what to see and do. In this episode Di & Alex discuss practical tips for achieving a win-win when away, all from the back seat of a taxi in Indonesia.
35 minutes | 3 years ago
Ep. 09: The Gender Agenda
Di and Alex explore the two worlds of Mars and Venus and men and women. They discuss how females are great multi-taskers, while men excel in highly task-focused projects. They also share the notion that men's deepest fear is about being incompetent and not good enough whereas women can be unconsciously afraid of being worthy of love. Di brings up Mr fix it, man caves and touches on different love languages. Finally, they discuss the top 3 mistakes men and women make in relation to their partner's needs.
30 minutes | 3 years ago
Ep. 08: Mindfulness Matters
Di and Alex discuss what Mindfulness is and how it can help us in our relationships. When we practice mindfulness on a daily basis, we develop an awareness that helps us stay in the present moment with our partners which in turn makes it easier to deal with issues as they arise without getting tangled up in past emotions and future worries.
33 minutes | 3 years ago
Ep. 07: Attachments Included
Attachment styles are patterns of intimacy developed in our formative years that may have an impact on future relationships. Di shares with Alex the model developed by Stan Tatkin to simplify attachment theory using the metaphor of waves, islands and anchors, from his book, "Wired for Love." Waves have an up and down style where they want to be close but push people away; the Island likes to have alone time and their own space whilst anchors have a nice balance of both waves and islands. The aim is to be more like an anchor and understand your own and your partners' attachment styles to reduce the conflict in the relationship.
33 minutes | 3 years ago
Ep. 06: Help Me If You Can
How do you know when it's time to seek outside help for your relationship? Di and Alex explore the triggers to identify when to look outside of your relationship for advice, how to find that professional help and how to know if they are a good therapist. They discuss the difference between a psychologist, psychiatrist, counsellor and life coach and help you to identify which one is appropriate for any given situation.
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