You’re irritated. You feel unacknowledged by your spouse. Your child is fussy. Bills are unpaid. Your home is messy. In laws (enough said). School tuition.
You’ve likely experienced the above mentioned. And when it boils over, you erupt on the ones you love. Are you blushing yet?
This is normal. Not polite, but its normal. Many people find turbulence in their relationships as a result of environmental triggers. It effects the whole family, kids included.
For this, Therapists have turned to a method of personal thought control called Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT).
What is it?
Simply put, your thoughts translate to behaviors. Did you know this? For example, if your spouse didn’t clean the kitchen, your thought is that he/she was lazy or didn’t care.
You might react by confronting them without having additional information to go on. What now?
You continue berating them. They defend themselves providing you with their excuses. Damn, they sound like they’re telling the truth! But you can’t back down, you’re already engaged.
You continue. They fire back, and things get nasty. The next 48 hours of your lives will be spent in silence or apart from one another.
This situation was caused initially by a pattern of thinking that many of us are guilty of. Another way of looking at it, you jumped to conclusions. CBT aims at changing the way you think by training you to become more aware of your thoughts.
Did you know…
That we experience over 60,000 thoughts a day and 90 percent of them are identical to day before? A study will confirm that we are terribly habit forming in the way we think, and the impact our thoughts may have on us.
Another great resource is Psychology Today and their methods of avoiding negative thoughts.
Dealing with the stress of life and family can feel endless. But the methods below outline my personal experience of alleviating said stress and bringing you back to a state of peace.
Try them out.
I’ve harped on this in the past, but meditation is a great way to observe your thoughts. By counting your breaths and body scanning (being aware of the physical sensations you experience) you become more aware of how you’re feeling in any given moment. Here are some methods of meditations worth your while.
If you’re able to identify the moment you’re feeling triggered, you’ll develop the ability to control your anger and other impulsive reactions.
2. Keep a Journal
You’ve probably heard keeping a journal benefits those experiencing triggers such as a frustrating friend or spouse. Tracking your thoughts can significantly help when you’re overwrought.
Each day, write down the date and times when you experience anger, frustration etc.
Document the way you reacted. This will assist you in developing patterns of behavior and predict under what circumstances you’ll react. Having this insight will allow you to prevent an unwanted argument.
3. Work Out
No doctor would recommend poor nutrition and a sloth existence. Get up, get out, and move your ass. Hit the gym, take hikes, ride a bike, box, play basketball, whatever.
Placing your body under physical stress prepares you for emotional and psychological stress.
In short, CBT is a trial and error thing – you’ll need to work at it for a while, try what works and what doesn’t to find your sweet spot. Keep at it. Don’t quit, and use your family as motivation.