8 Ways to Create the Love You Want

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Motivational speaker Tony Robbins once said that “We waste time looking for the perfect lover, instead of creating the perfect love.”

While the initial phase of a relationship seems effortless, the sublime chemical release of early love will only get us so far. Eventually, if we want the partnership to endure, we have to roll up our sleeves and start to sweat.

My husband and I recently attended a marriage retreat where we heard from couples who have survived affairs, medical problems, family feuds, and other kinds of heartbreaks and hurdles that are left out of the pages of fairy tales. Their crushing stories inspired everyone in the room with the conviction that infidelity, illness, financial stress, and other hardships don’t have to end a relationship. In fact, sometimes they inaugurate the best phase yet. I have summarized their wisdom into the following eight strategies for creating the love you want.

1. Understand the stages of a relationship.

Relationships are ever-evolving, changing organisms. They take different forms over time. Initially, there is romance, where your brain is so flooded with dopaminethat going grocery shopping together feels like a Caribbean cruise. Inevitably, though, disillusionmenthappens, when you may question if you have fallen out of love. Some are tempted to bolt and seek the dopamine spike with another partner.

Often the disillusionment morphs into sheer misery, the third stage of a relationship, where two people who were once madly in love with each other feel nothing but resentment and contempt. If they manage to navigate around the various potholes of this stage, they arrive at awakening, a deeper and fulfilling intimacy than even the initial romance.

2. Don’t rely solely on your feelings.

Most self-help books urge us to trust our feelings. The process of identifying our feelings and aligning them with action is a critical part of self growth. However, feelings can also be misleading. Given their unpredictable and fickle nature, they are often not a reliable GPS for relationships. If we’re not careful, they can take us down dead-end paths.

A committed relationship is a series of decisions rather than a collection of feelings. By making a daily decision to do what is required to sustain a relationship, we clear our brain of some of the interfering static that confuses us. This gives us more energy to love completely.

I compare it to staying sober. If I relied solely on my feelings to determine my path, I’d be drunk. Instead, I make a conscious decision every 24 hours to not pick up a drink.

3. Understand yourself.

We all have baggage from the past that informs and shapes our behaviors and conversations. Most of us have learned to protect ourselves from hurt and rejection with certain masks we wear: the caretaker, the clown, the bully, the perfectionist. Identifying how previous wounds impact the way you relate to your partner can afford you a truer perspective on the relationship dynamics. With this understanding you can approach problems more objectively and interact more fairly.

Rewriting the narrative you learned in childhood is never easy and takes time, but will lead to a more honest, deeper relationship.

4. Don’t just talk – communicate.

Talking is good, but it’s only the beginning. True communication is much more involved than a simple conversation. It is a process of learning how to describe your emotions in detail to your partner so they have a shot of understanding the complex world between between your ears.

During the retreat weekend, we picked from a thesaurus of adjectives to describe our feelings. We used physical sensations, nature scenes, mental pictures, animals, movies, shared memories, and our five senses to express in vivid detail the nuances and complexities of our feelings. While I thought this was a tad overkill at first, the exercise proved effective in communicating emotions to my husband that I assumed he understood.

5. Take the risk to be vulnerable.

It’s one thing to bare your soul under the influence of a dopamine rush. It’s another when you’re faced with disillusionment and doubt. However, this is precisely the time when you need to be brutally honest with your partner and lay your soul out for his gazing.

The most powerful session of the weekend for me was the one on what is required for trust: honesty, openness, and the willingness to change. Trust means giving your heart to each other for their safekeeping, which can feel terrifying to someone whose past hurts remind them of the price of vulnerability. However, it is the trust that pushes us through to the final and best stage of a relationship, where we awaken to an intimacy beyond our imagination.

6. Don’t shirk from confrontation.

Despite the way it feels, confrontation is where the gold lies in a relationship. It can be tempting to either avoid or manipulate, but neither resolves the problem at hand. Constructive confrontation is done with respect for the other person.

Create some ground rules to fight fairly. For example, don’t bring up past history, stay away from name-calling, don’t go for the jugular, and stick to “I feel” statements. You might refer to a thesaurus of emotions and express your feelings in writing. Refrain from a difficult conversation when you are hungry, angry, tired, or are in the car.

7. Learn his or her love language.

We all absorb affection differently. Folding the laundry might say “I love you” more profoundly to your partner than a reservation to a nice French restaurant or a scrapbook of memories that you spent a week on.

According to pastor and author Gary Chapman, emotional needs are met in five ways: words of affirmation, quality of time, receiving gifts, acts of service, and physical touch. Learn your partner’s love language so that you can communicate your appreciation and love most effectively.

8. Forgive, and forgive some more.

“You come to love,” says American philosopher Sam Keen, “not by finding the perfect person, but by seeing an imperfect person perfectly.” We are all imperfect. When two people spend enough time together, they are bound to hurt each other. The transgression isn’t as important as the rebound. While you can hate the sin, try to love the sinner. Do your best to separate the awful thing that your partner did from the imperfect, lovable person she is. Trust that she is trying her best to learn from her mistakes and do better next time.

5 Motivational Life Mantras For A Happy And Successful Life

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1) Before You Tell Your Thoughts, Think A Bit:

Speaking the wrong words at the wrong time can increase your troubles.

Ultimately, we all need self-discipline. It is a simple solution that we can easily cope with the difficulties in life, by changing our attitude. And keep love relationships for life.

2) Avoid Criticism And Do Not Make Fun Of Others:

There are two types of effects of our sensation and its outbreak. If you send positive thoughts in the form of love, affection, kindness, compassion, welfare, then it will make your relationship even more beautiful and stronger. On the contrary, those who use anger, hatred, anxiety, criticism, molestation, negative thinking and bad words, their relationship seems to be diminishing. And in this concern, love and happiness always go away from the human life. In the relationship between two people, both should have the power to understand each other, and there should be ego and hatred in each other.

3) Do You Feel Easily Miserable And Are Happy With You?

I believe that keeping good and bad habits to a limited place can lead you to the wrong path. The people have a habit of adopting bad habits early and developing them, while good habits only take place after a lot of difficult and lots of attempts. And that is why we are annoyed with each other. We should bring our inner feeling to our mind. Considering the inner feeling, we should bring positive feelings out and destroy negative feelings.

Contrary to the feeling of happiness, love, attraction, meditation, kindness and compassion, we all see it in our own nature. Our nature reflects our qualities and our happiness depends on our nature.

The easiest solution to remove the sour taste in the relationship is to humiliate your temperament and whether the situation is favorable or the opposite is always a smile. To be happy, you need to change your nature.

4) Change Your Definition:

Make your definition so much that you can easily feel happy and can be very happy. Make sure your best day is today, today you can easily live the life you want. Always remember these things, then happiness, love, freedom will always be there in your life.

If someone asks you how you live happily and enthusiastic? So your answer, “I am so happy because I live in today and easily breathe and I feel happy”.

Your attitude will help you to live a happy life. And you will always be living in the atmosphere of love, charm, helper and kindness, compassion, so that both your health and your property will be safe.

Apart from being easily happy, there is one more thing that you should be in, and it is not that easy to be unhappy. It is impossible for any person to make you sad. Make sure to limit your frustration to a limit. You will be disappointed if you lose more than $ 1 million in the day, if you have any such event in your life then you should be disappointed. If you use these limitations in your life then you will never be easily dissatisfied. And you will be able to live happily throughout life.

5) Use These Conditions:

You make all the changes just to make positive changes in life. To increase these habits you need to be humble, honest and consistent. All the time, you should be aware of this new definition of life. Write all these terms on many pages and put them at different places in the house. So that your attention will turn to them again and again. You can also keep all these terms as wallpaper of your computer, laptop or mobile phone.

Doing so will change your bad habit in good habits in just a few days, and you will find yourself the happiest person in this world. You can always be happy with doing this. And you can also learn how to please others with your attitude.

And there will be no place for anger, hatred, despair and trouble in this world.

Always remember one thing ….

Love and happiness win everywhere.

The Benefits Of Being Kind To Yourself Are More Powerful Than You Think, According To Science

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It’s not always easy to be nice to yourself. I’m not sure why this is, but I do know that that cliché about being your own worst critic is definitely true. It’s just so easy to get into the habit of placing other people’s needs or desires (read: your mom, your SO, your boss) way, way above your own. But the benefits of being kind to yourself can actually have a deeper, more lasting impact than you might immediately assume. While self-compassion is an important habit to practice no matter what, the results of a new study suggest it can have a very real, positive, if unexpected impact on your physical body.

Researchers from the Universities of Exeter and Oxford in the UK discovered that, when you actively practice self-compassion, it can actually calm and slow down your heart rate, not to mention switch off your body’s threat response, aka its fight-or-flight mode. Just to put that in perspective a little, when your body’s threat response is activated more than it needs to be (i.e. when it’s consistently activated during times of stress), it can legitimately damage your immune system over time, per research published in the journal Current Opinion in Psychology. So, if there are ways to avoid having that bodily response when it isn’t necessary, it’s all the better for your well-being.

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As for the new research from the UK, which has been published in the academic journal Clinical Psychological Science, here’s how that study went down: According to a press release from the University of Exeter, 135 students from the school were divided into five groups. Each group received different audio instructions, and while some included exercises of self-compassion, others “induced a critical inner voice.” To gauge how these different instructions affected the participants, the researchers tracked their heart rate and sweat responses, and they asked the students to report how they felt after hearing the instructions, with questions like “how safe they felt, how likely they were to be kind to themselves and how connected they felt to others.”

After all of that, the researchers found that the two groups whose audio instructions were encouraging them to be kind to themselves both reported feeling more self-compassion and connection to other people, and yes, their bodily responses illustrated feelings of relaxation and safety as well: Their heart rates dropped and slowed down, and the participants’ bodies produced less sweat when listening to self-compassion exercises. Meanwhile, the instructions that guided the participants toward a more critical inner monologue seemed to lead to the opposite results: a faster heartbeat, more sweat, and more feelings of distress. The main author of the study, Dr. Hans Kirschner, said in the study’s press release,

These findings suggest that being kind to oneself switches off the threat response and puts the body in a state of safety and relaxation that is important for regeneration and healing.

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Co-author of the study, Dr. Anke Karl, added,

Previous research has found that self-compassion was related to higher levels of well-being and better mental health, but we didn’t know why.

Our study is helping us understand the mechanism of how being kind to yourself when things go wrong could be beneficial in psychological treatments. By switching off our threat response, we boost our immune systems and give ourselves the best chance of healing.

And listen, I know self-compassion is kind of this lofty, what-does-it-really-mean kind of idea, which can make it feel daunting to practice or really trust as a legitimately helpful habit. But being kind to yourself can truly mean so many different things. Maybe you can create an easy ritual for yourself at the end of a hard week, like getting a bagel at your favorite bodega. Or maybe you can climb into bed early on a Friday night so you can devour more of that graphic novel you never have time to read. Maybe self-kindness just means making a quick list in your phone of all the things that made you smile that day.

Whatever it looks like for you, just do it — give it a try. What’s there to lose, right?

Exploring The Link Between Health and Happiness

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It’s common sense that it’s difficult to feel happy when you are seriously ill. But do feelings of happiness help to prevent people from becoming sick, or help them to get better quicker?

That’s the question posed by a new field of research focused on the relationship between happiness and health. And it’s a question that can be difficult to answer with data. But researchers are creating better measures for happiness and using new statistical techniques that help to tease out whether happiness really makes a difference in health.

In these types of studies, happiness doesn’t just mean that burst of joy you get from a feel-good movie or a when your favorite team wins a game. It also includes more general feelings of satisfaction and a sense of meaning and purpose in life.

A new systematic review published this month in the Annual Review of Public Health looks at the entire body of evidence on happiness and health to answer the question, does happiness really lead to better health?

The author is quick to note that when studying happiness, it can be difficult to control for reverse causation. (Is the subject unhappy because they’re ill or ill because they’re unhappy?) And it’s difficult to remove all of the other variables that influence happiness and health. For example, someone who is unemployed may feel unhappy because he lost his job and is more likely to delay medical treatment because he no longer has health insurance, which therefore leads to a more serious illness. But good research studies are set up to account for these variables.

Here’s what studies have found so far:

First, there is clear evidence demonstrating a link between happiness and a decreased risk of mortality.  Essentially, people who report that they feel a larger sense of well-being are less likely to die compared to those who do not. It’s important to note that this analysis does not establish a cause -and =effect relationship, but it still provides broad evidence of a connection.

Next, there is a range of prospective studies that show happiness is associated with a reduced risk of specific diseases including stroke, diabetes, high blood pressure and arthritis. There is also some evidence that people with serious health conditions – including spinal cord injury, coronary artery disease and heart failure – are likely to recover more quickly when they experience feelings of happiness.

There is no solid evidence yet of a happiness intervention that prevents illness or improves recovery time for specific diseases. But there are data that show positive psychology interventions help to reduce symptoms of depression. And also some evidence that these types of interventions lead to improvements in mental health and life satisfaction for older adults.

To find out what all of this means, we talked to Anthony Ong, a professor of human development at Cornell University whose work focuses on the link between human health and aging, emotion, race and social class and relationships.

“Although there is growing support for an association between happiness and mental and physical health, full understanding of the phenomenon is far from complete,” Ong said. “Questions remain regarding the underlying mechanisms. More research is also needed to clarify how much, when and for whom does happiness matter for health. In short, comprehensive understanding of happiness and health will require that we move beyond simply asking whether happiness is good for health to a serious consideration of measuring happiness in context. Context may include individual and environmental factors, personal histories and culture. The time for such inquiry is at hand.”

The take-home message: More research is surely required. But there is enough evidence now to demonstrate that health is associated with those larger feelings of happiness and satisfaction with life.