Setting boundaries sounds easy but it is not. You need to be self-aware to establish healthy boundaries. It’s also important to have confidence in yourself. This will help you have the strength and willpower to establish healthy boundaries in all relationships. The creation of boundaries is an integral part of your identity and a critical component of mental health and well-being. Healthy boundaries can help people to define themselves and identify what they are ready and not accountable for at any given moment. Thus, your interactions with friends and romantic partners will be more fulfilling rather than frustrating.

Here are some tips that can help you create and keep healthy boundaries:

  • Talk honestly and clearly about your thoughts and feelings. Share your thoughts and feelings with your partner or friend honestly but respectfully when needed. It is sometimes hard to understand your thoughts and feelings. It is good to ask for a while to resolve it but do not use it as a tactic to avoid an argument in the future.
  • Ask your friend or partner how they feel. Each one of you is entitled to your own thoughts and feelings, and it is the responsibility of each one to put them in words to make them understandable. Thus, your partner or friend does not have to guess in any way.
  • Be responsible for your choices. Ask yourself how your choices – deliberate or accidental – might have contributed to the situation, instead of blaming your partner or friend for what you feel or what’s going on.
  • Voice your emotions without blame. For instance, it would be far better to say something like, “I feel discouraged and saddened by what happened tonight” rather than to say, “You made me feel ugly because of how you’ve spoken about me with our friends tonight.”

Creating boundaries takes time and practice, especially when you come from a family with uncertain or less-than-desirable boundaries It can be challenging to build boundaries, but it is a must to retain your energy, live in your truth and not get lost. 

You’ll experience more joy in your relationships because you will have learned not to hold onto uncomfortable emotions and the associated dysfunctional behaviors that bring any relationship down. Speak your truth and stay centered vigorously. You can better identify where the boundaries should be in your relationships. Doing so will make the relationship deeper and healthier over the years.

Emotionally Focused Therapy (EFT) is a systematic series of short-run (8 to 20 ) sessions as an alternative to traditional couples therapy. Developed in the 1980s by Sue Johnson and Les Greenberg, this therapy is based on research and focuses on negative forms of communication, and love as an attachment bond.

Science-Backed Research

Many studies advocate the efficacy of this therapy according to the EFT website. It is now one of the (if not the most) empirically proven couples therapy.

Research has found that 70-75% of EFT people transition from depression to rehabilitation effectively and about 90% show significant changes. The findings of these trials are significant. This improvement is also quite robust and effective, with few signs of relapse.

Benefits of EFT

EFT can benefit troubled couples including those with depression, addictions and post-traumatic stress disorder and chronic diseases, among other issues, in one or both partners. To people coping with unfaithfulness or more stressful events, current and past, EFT has proven to be an effective solution.

The attachment theory and the EFT intersect with neuroscience. Recent MRI studies have shown the importance of secure attachment. We have strong attachments, and our brains learn we are “safe” with your partner.

Any couple can perceive distance or conflict within their relationship as dangerous. Missing the bond with a loved one jeopardizes our sense of safety. The “Primal fear” also known as the panic mode, sends out an alert in part of our brain called the amygdala.

Establishing a Secure Bond

This approach eliminates the tension between partners and provides a stronger emotional connection. Couples learn from a vulnerable place to express deep emotions and ask for the fulfillment of their needs. They begin by looking at unattractive behaviors as ‘protests of disconnection,’ i.e. shutting down or angry escalation. Couples learn to open up emotionally, strengthening the bonding and the feeling of safe haven.

As behavioral therapy, EFT has many benefits. Extensive research supports EFT, and this model is a collaborative process while being considerate of clients. Instead of the couples themselves, it puts blame for the problems of couples on their negative patterns between them. The mechanism of progress was translated into a clearly defined approach with nine phases and three events that direct and monitor the clinical advances under the guidance of a therapist. A qualified EFT therapist would be a good option if you are looking for help with a troubled friendship.

Parker Colorado Therapy and Counseling

Having a highly sensitive partner is a rare gift, but if you know how to make them feel at home with you. Here are some useful ways to help your partner become more open and understood by you.

1. Be patient for their response.

Highly sensitive people have vibrant inner worlds with many thoughts going on in their mind.  When you are waiting for a decision from them, do your best to be patient. Their minds are busy, and they may need some time than most.

2. Give them space for quiet time, alone time, or less stimulating time.

Assure your highly sensitive partner that you would be happy to prioritize their sensitivity.

You can soothe your stressed partner after a busy week by asking whether they want to meditate or go to bed early. Let them know that you understand their needs and that you want to share their unique world experience. If a highly sensitive person feels and hopes that they are safe with you, they let you into their soul’s richness and beauty.

3. Redecorate your home in a calmer way.

You can redecorate your home environment for your partner, knowing that your environment can easily overwhelm your partner. Put pillows and blankets draped gently on sofas and beds. Install dimmer switches for your lights. If you can, invest in soundproofing your walls if you live in a boisterous neighborhood or have loud neighbors.

The less stimulating the environment is, the better your partner feels. They can let down their guard and be there with you.

4. Be with them for when they feel overstimulated.

In some situations, your very sensitive partner may become over-stimulated to the point that verbal communication is difficult.

You and your partner can work together to create a signal, which may be massively beneficial. It might be a secret sign of peace, or your partner puts their hands on their ears. Whichever signal you choose, make sure that it makes sense to the both of you and that the signal is accepted when it is used.

You can also be present with them in a quiet room during a noisy party or even leave early when they become tired and overwhelmed.

Because HSPs don’t feel like they fit in the real world (due to modern life not being welcoming to the highly sensitive), you become much more appreciated in your efforts to better understand and respect them.

Highly Sensitive Persons Colorado Therapy

Are you or do you know someone who is highly sensitive? High sensitivity can be characterized as an immediate response to external (social, environmental) or inner (intrapersonal) stimuli, physically, mentally and emotionally. An introvert, an extrovert or somewhere in between may be a highly sensitive person.

Fifteen to twenty percent of the population are highly sensitive and process stimuli profoundly from sight to sound to emotion. The HSP responsiveness to sensory processing means that reality is “changed” more than other experiences. The nervous systems are no less sensitive than introversion, depression, anxiety or even autism, and process information more deeply because of a biological difference.

Signs of a Highly Sensitive Person

So, what’s it like to be an HSP? While many people may occasionally experience some of these signs, a highly sensitive person is likely to “feel too much” and “feel too deep.”

  • They feel things profoundly and observe people well but may shield their feelings from others because they have learned to withdraw into ourselves. They struggle with sleep and anxiety, and they may feel angry or upset about social injustice in society.
  • In group situations, such as work meetings or parties, we can feel overwhelmed because of the number of stimuli, including loud noises and strong scents. This does not mean that relationships are not respected.
  •  If they watch or read negative media content, they may get upset. They hate programming with “shock” value (i.e. shows that are extremely frightening or violent). They feel unhappy after reading social media posts.
  • They may seek reassurance when they start new relationships, such as friendships or romantic partnerships, because they are hypersensitive to any perceived signs of rejection.
  •  On the other hand, they talk about negative emotions because of the amount of “drama” in their lives. They find it hard to accept feedback, even if it is offered in a fair and constructive manner. They feel like people will judge them, no matter what, despite a lack of strong evidence otherwise.

Although a highly sensitive person has many positive qualities, others can be overstimulated with more signs in the list.

For many sensitive people, emotional and sensory immunity techniques can be used to soothe and relieve overstimulation to control oversensitivity. Efficient communication skills are required to cultivate positive and constructive relationships for those who live or work with extremely sensitive individuals.

3 Tips to Better Communicate With Your Spouse

In a relationship, two different people can have different communication skills. Yet better communication can also be practiced because it is an ability that anyone can learn. Communication can make the most of a relationship or ruin them. By bringing some of these ideas into your relationship, you can improve your relationship.

1. Stop and listen.

How many times have you heard anyone say that? The issue is more complicated than it seems. When we are embroiled in a serious discussion or disagreement with our partner, it’s difficult for the moment to put aside our viewpoint and listen. Sometimes we’re so terrified not to be heard that we try to keep talking. Unfortunately, this kind of action makes it more likely that we will not be heard.

2. Make yourself hear your partner.

You’ve stopped talking momentarily, but all the thoughts you want to say are still spinning in your head, so you don’t really understand what’s being said anymore. You may find the situation funny, but therapists have a strategy that works very well that “allows” them to hear what a client tells them— rephrasing what a person has just told them (called “reflection“).

Do this too much, or you may end up pushing them away. Also, do not try this in a way that implies that you’re teasing rather than trying to listen seriously. Use this technique in moderation. Let your partner know why you’re doing it when they inquire, “Sometimes I don’t think I’m getting what you’re asking me, and doing that helps me to slow down my mind and really listen to understand what you’re doing.”

3. Be open with your partner.

Many people in their lives have never been very open to others. Many people may not even know themselves, or they do not know a lot about their true needs and desires. Being in a relationship is taking a step towards talking openly about your life and yourself.

Little lies become big lies. Lying may work for you to cover your feelings behind a mask, but it won’t work for most others. Pretending that everything is normal is not okay. And it’s about as useful as giving your partner the silent treatment about not getting what you want for the holidays. In the past, these strategies may have “worked” for you, but they all hinder good communication.

To be open means to speak about things that another person in your life might never have spoken about before. It means truly taking the time to listen and reflect on what your partner has to say. This may mean opening to a world of potential pain and disappointment. But it also ensures that you can be open to the full potential of a true relationship.

Why You Should Date Your Spouse

Dating shouldn’t stop at the altar.

In the beginning, the reason for dating is to get to know someone better to see if this is a good fit. Yet, for those who have been married for a while, they may see dating as a waste of time, energy and money. Rather, dating your spouse should begin with a desire to have a much deeper understanding of each other.

Here are some reasons that you may have forgotten during your dating phase that will hopefully get you back into dating your spouse.

Dating consists of:

  •  Fascinating and effortless conversations. Dating partners tend to value opposing opinions, and readily accept that they disagree over certain quirks. Most married couples presume about each other’s views and refuse to recognize that an individual may change as the years pass.
  • Exciting plans. Whichever partner takes the lead, the date is usually well-planned and may even come with one or two surprises. Instead of going to new places and taking part in new activities, married couples tend to go out to the usual places they’ve been going to for years.
  • Warm body language. A happy couple in a restaurant is easy to pick. They have intentional communication when they laugh and smile at each other. Married couples oppose or overreact to their spouse’s body language without checking their assumptions and reverting to avoidance and exaggeration.
  • Letting go of past mistakes. Dating couples let go of perceived offenses. They just break-up if things are not working out. In contrast, married couples remember past indiscretions which can lead to heated fights. Couples who date while married remain friendly, gentle, and respectable.
  • New and exciting adventures. Any new adventure would help a dating couple enjoy each other’s company enthusiastically. This is where many married couples are lacking in their lives. The passing of time will build years of bitterness, unresolved anger and lack of forgiveness. A boost in passion is just what is required to overcome unresolved problems.

How to Get Started on Dating

Plan a bi-monthly date night, even though it sounds uncomfortable at first. Use this valuable time to reconnect with your spouse.

If you don’t have a good connection, you may need to make the time to go out. Above all, try to add new things wherever you can–a new bar, a new game, or a new trip.

Ultimately, couples bond better with novelty, according to several love experts including the scientist Dr. Art Aron. Then, plan new places and activities together. Start small and see what happens. You will be on your way to feeling together again, by prioritizing connection in real, effective ways.

How to Know Your Partner’s Love Language

Everyone has different love languages. The good news is that you can have different languages of love and have a healthy relationship. You should make sure you understand what your partner needs. Both of you just must do a little to consider the various needs.

1. Find out your partner’s love language.

Observe the little actions of your partner. What makes them smile? When do they start to feel frustrated or whine about how their day went? Talking about your romantic needs and wants with your partner is a huge and important step in your relationship. It also takes time.

You can also get together for a date night and complete this online quiz.

2. Understand your partner’s love language.

Follow the relationship advice of so many once you discover your love languages: learn to speak the love language of your partner. Start showing love as they perceive it as love below:

  • Acts of Service: Do small actions to show your affection. Fold and put their laundry away, cook dinner after a busy workday if your partner is usually the cook, and remember to take out the trash.
  • Quality Time: Put away the cell phone and give them your full attention. Take a walk in the neighborhood or play a card game for two.
  • Words of Affirmation: Be loving with your words, whether they be spoken or written. Send a good morning text or put a handwritten note in their briefcase or backpack.
  • Receiving Gifts: Buy them small things every so often. You can buy their favorite pastry or drink from the local coffee shop. Making them “love” coupons are always welcome. Plus, never forget special dates like birthdays and anniversaries.
  • Physical Touch: Reach out and hold their hand. Hug your significant other after you haven’t seen each other all day and give them a kiss goodnight before you go to bed.

3. Compromise with your partner.

There is a single word that encompasses all relationship advice about how to understand the love language of your partner: compromise. It is not easy to learn to negotiate, and a relationship can be full of doubts and difficulties. If you want to make things work in your relationship, it should be all about give-and-take.

With someone with a different language of love, understanding their love language is not difficult. It only means being more attuned to your relationship’s special needs and taking care of your partner.

7 Ways to Reconnect with Your Partner

We expect things to stay the same when we start a relationship. But what binds you together over time will change. You may, of course, feel confused or unsure about how the relationship can be restored. Seven ways to reconnect with your partner are presented here.

1. Avoid having a critical voice

At some point, any person in a relationship will observe their partner with a critical voice. You are far better off paying close attention to this vital inner voice if you want to live in love. Having a more caring and truthful approach towards them will help reconnect with your partner.

2. Receive influence from your partner.

A Gottman Institute study found that a partnership works in examining heterosexual marriages to the degree that the husband would recognize control from his partner. For example, a wife could tell her husband, “Do you have to work on Friday night? My parents are coming this weekend, and I need your help to get ready. ” Her husband replies, “My plans with my friends are set, and I’m not going to change them.” A partnership can blossom when both partners can influence each other.

3. Show Affection

Studies have shown that you feel more connected with physical affection. Getting affectionate in your brain releases oxytocin. Showing affection helps to make you feel connected and stay in touch with your desires and express trust personally.

4. Do Acts of Love

As it sounds simple, kindness is the secret to love. Research has shown that taking more loving action makes you feel more in love. Do small acts of kindness such as writing love notes or sending special text messages; and preparing a favorite breakfast.

5.Laugh Together at Inside Jokes

When you laugh together with your partner, you reconnect with each other. Inside jokes are the result of shared experiences, such as parties, birthdays, travels, pop culture references, and silly singing or dancing.

6. Talk About Your Partner’s Interests

What your partner wants to do and to join is important to know. This leads to creating more trust and dedication by combining empathy and sincere engagement with one’s partner’s passions. If your partner enjoys ballroom dancing, you can say: “I can’t help but see how you improved in dancing tonight. While in the dance room, what do you feel? It inspired me so much.”

7. Share eye contact

Looking into your partner’s eyes when you talk or listen to them communicates to show your partner that you give them a priority. Make sure you show yourself to be present and enjoy being with them.

Give your relationship constant nourishment and affection. Reconnecting takes a leap of faith that you continue to take every day that you choose to be together. If you need more help to reconnect, take part in relationship counseling and couples therapy. 

5 Ways You Can Support a Loved One with Anxiety

To watch a loved one suffering from anxiety is hard to witness, and it is more difficult when you are worried about it. Your loved one may feel too ashamed to avoid acting or acting in ways that your own anxiety is inconsiderate or that. This could look like your partner who puts off important tasks or conversations all the time or a best friend who feels lonely after divorce but still to go on dates.

While seeing these people suffer is debilitating and upsetting, you can do some things to help your loved one.

1.Understand how anxiety works

We are wired to respond to anxiety through fight, flight, or freeze because of evolution. One of these solutions usually dominates for different people. Once you know that anxiety is a natural response for us in a state of risk, it’s easier to understand and to have empathy for someone who feels scared (or stressed). You will understand their habits and be in a better position to help by paying attention to how anxiety develops in the person you care for.

2. Ask how you can best support them

Research shows that people with an avoidant attachment style (generally those who have had previous caretaker rejections or relationships) will probably best respond to strong displays of pragmatic support. Many people would prefer emotional support, particularly those who have a secure or preoccupied attachment because of fear of abandonment or of the overwhelming emotions they have for others. It’s best to ask someone what kind of help they want instead of guessing! 

3. Support someone who wants to change their anxiety

While you can learn more about anxiety through a therapy session or reading more about different models of anxiety, you can also use a cognitive-behavioral strategy for anxious people.

People with anxiety tend to think of worst-case scenarios. You can ask them to answer three questions: 

  • What is the worst thing that could happen?
  • What could be the best thing?
  • What is most likely or most probable?

So if your loved one is anxious to hear from a high-stakes job interview a few days ago but doesn’t, you can suggest he or she takes into consideration some of the worst, best, and most probable reasons for the lack of contact.

4. Give support but only encourage

We may often feel taken out by doing things to our obvious loved ones and feeding them unintentionally when they want to avoid situations or things that make them anxious. Encourage them to step out of their comfort zone by offering to go with them to therapy if they choose and make an appointment with a therapist, for example. One key principle to keep in mind is that people need to help themselves, not do things for themselves. 

5. If they have more severe anxiety, reassure them

What if your loved one has anxiety from a more severe condition such as PTSD or panic disorder? You can offer support by reassuring them that you care for them, no matter what they’re going through, and helping them stay connected to their true selves with hobbies or interests.

There are several ways to help people with anxiety. Select one or two appealing ideas that you and your loved one find manageable. Be ready for exploration. Remember you’re doing your best to support your loved one.