Try these 3 relationship exercises over the next few weeks and notice how they impact your feeling of happiness and positivity towards your partner.
As John Gottman confirmed from his decades of research…
Healthy relationships are 5:1 positive to negative.
Unhealthy relationships are more like 1:1.
So let’s introduce some positivity today. You’ve got everything to gain and nothing to lose.
EXERCISE 1 – Positive flooding
There are going to be times when you’re angry with your partner. Maybe they’ve said or done something that’s triggered you. Snapped at you out of frustration or left in a hurry for work, without you having the opportunity to settle your side of the argument.
When these negative emotions rise to the surface try some positive flooding. This is an exercise you can do in your head, you can write some thoughts down or you can even share these with your partner in some capacity, until you see them again later that day.
Pick out the physical characteristics you love about your partner.
What personality traits are their strengths?
Which behaviours do you love about them?
And what are your global affirmations about your relationship? These could include the fact that you’ve never loved anyone else the way you love them! Or they are the ONLY person you would ever want to be with!
Try this exercise and see how it eases the tension between you.
EXERCISE 2 – Your Relationship Vision
Knowing your vision together can install greater purpose and meaning in your relationship and it’s often not something we consciously think about focusing on.
Just like a well thought out business plan can help your business thrive, why can’t the same apply to your relationship?
I get it, we often don’t want to have this plan in our personal lives because it feels too formal.
We feel like things should just be easy in our relationships. The truth is that all healthy relationships are about growth and this is about holding each other accountable to aim to show up as the best version of ourselves as often as we can.
Of course, we can’t do this 100% of the time but our intention is to provide a secure base for our partner so you can both continue to grow and develop.
If you had a vision statement for your relationship what would it be?
What are your objectives?
How do you plan to achieve this?
And what are the benefits of living out this plan?
I encourage you to sit down together over the next few days, answer the questions above and write down your relationship vision.
EXERCISE 3 – The Love Language Test
“If you master these, you will have love that lasts.” Dr Gary Chapman believes.
I personally think love languages are a bit of fun and they offer an interesting insight. There’s often much deeper work to be done but they will certainly increase the level of positivity in your relationship by aiming to better meet each other’s needs.
Here’s how they work…
People with Words of Affirmation as a love language value verbal acknowledgements of affection and “I love you’s,”
Some people prefer Quality Time and feel most valued when their partner actively wants to spend time with them.
If your love language is Acts of Service, you value when your partner goes out of their way to make your life easier. Here, actions speak louder than words.
The language of Gifts is pretty straightforward. You feel loved when your partner gives you “visual symbols of love”.
Finally, there’s Physical Touch. People with this preference as their love language need to receive physical signs of affection. Lots of kissing, holding hands and cuddling.
I recommend heading over to the 5 Love Languages website and trying the test for yourself.
Switching out negative emotions for positive ones isn’t about papering over the cracks.
It’s about mindset.
What you choose to focus on is what you will see.
If you would like additional support, our Reboot Program offer couples a safe, secure space whilst focusing on 3 relationship pillars: Connection, Identity and Behaviour.
Please do drop me a message here if you’d like to chat.