Whenever we feel attacked or threatened – even if we feel disrespected, insulted, or personally attacked – we experience what’s known as a “fight-flight-freeze” reaction. Simply put, the reasoning part of our brains shuts down and we’re unable to respond rationally in the heat of the moment.
And that doesn’t bode well when we want to maintain close meaningful relationships with others.
Let’s face it – all the tools and strategies in the world for effective communication won’t help if your head’s not in the game to begin with. But fortunately, we can learn to control our fight or flight reactions and keep our relationships strong. Here are 3 powerful tips:
Pause during the conversation to get clear on what you really want by asking “what do I want for myself, the other person, and the relationship?” For example, according to Crucial Conversations: Tools for Talking When Stakes Are High, “I can see I’m pushing to prove my idea is better and I should win. What I really want is to come to an agreement that works for both of us.” Or “what I really want is to express my real concerns and not come across as too demanding.” Basically, it’s about taking the attention off of our egos and on what we really want for this relationship. To find out more, check out this post.
Taking some time during the day for meditation can be extremely effective in gaining control over our thoughts and emotions. And it doesn’t have to take a lot of time, while the payoff is likely more than worth it. This article can help you find what might work best for you.
3. Take breaks from screen time.
We often hear that excessive screen time can be harmful physically, mentally, and emotionally. So, taking breaks can be a powerful way to improve our overall well-being.
I’ve found that taking a day off – or even a few hours – helps with mental clarity and emotional well-being. To learn more, check out this article.
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