Relationship Advice Tips by Dr. Jeanette Raymond, Ph.D.

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Camelia bloom in winter, renewing life in nature.

Photograph copyright, Jeanette Raymond, Ph.D.

Are you tired of making New Year’s resolutions that fizzle out and make you feel like a failure? Why put yourself through the same agony again as 2012 dawns?

Wouldn’t it be wonderful if you could refresh and renew without even trying? After all your skin cells renew, your bones renew when fractured or broken, and your brain cells not only regenerate but create new pathways that allow new learning after a stroke or after you give up a habit and choose alternative behaviors. Nature has built in renewal mechanisms that you can tap into in your emotional life.

How about starting with your relationship with your loved ones that have not lived up to expectations and been the cause of so much disappointment and stress?

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Passion flower radiates connections, is open and securely attached to it’s vine

Photograph copyright, Jeanette Raymond, Ph.D.

Use nature’s gift of eternal renewal and rejuvenation organically and with ease

Yes you can do it without even trying.

It’s not motivation as you already have that.

It’s not will power because you have already proved your power of endurance.

It’s not even determination, because you know you have the used it in other parts of your life and succeeded.

The one ingredient you need that costs nothing is desire.

But I hear you saying “what? Of course I want to!” Yes you do, but you may want something much more than that – you may want your partner and/or other loved ones to prove their loyalty, prove their commitment, prove that you are number one, prove that you will always be number one, prove that they will sacrifice anything for you. You may be so intent on looking for very specific proof to fill an emptiness inside you that never seems to get filled.

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nature lets annuals set seed and renew again, with new colors and tones

photograph copyright, Jeanette Raymond, Ph.D.

How can you make the relationship connection new in the New Year?

You can do that by refocusing your lens, and viewing your connections through warmer and softer colors that promote feelings of being loved and cared for, which in turn make you feel like reciprocating. Here are a few practical ways for you to make your relationships feel new, satisfying and rewarding.

1.    Start the day with valuing something about your relationship. Maybe it’s that you aren’t alone, or have someone to share things with, someone to laugh with etc.

Benefit: you notice and absorb what is available and learn to let it fill you up, rather than try to get what you thought you needed and deserved that was denied you as a child and that you still hunger for.

2.    Speak those values out loud to yourself and your loved ones.

Benefit: The verbal rehearsal activates all parts of your brain (emotional as you feel the meaning of the words, visualization as you focus, motor activity as you use your speech, etc.) and lays down new neural connections in the brain wiring, helping you to maintain the positive focus.

3.    Notice what goes well that you neither expected, hoped for or gave particular significance to. It could be a tiny gesture of your partner or loved one handing you something across the table, answering your call, listening to your experience, asking for your company, smiling at you, being home on time, and other little things.

Benefit: the giving and active receiving that you do by paying particular attention to the least obvious but vital strands of relationships will calm your fear circuits. You will feel more secure, making new neural pathways between your left and right brains – balancing out your logical and emotional sides.

So, become ‘new’ from the inside out with the minimum of effort in these little ways. There is no failure, only success. Practice is easy as tiny successes and feelings of security make new brain connections that sustain this new habit. All you need is the desire to do it for yourself.

Copyright, Jeanette Raymond, Ph.D.

Disclaimer: this article is for educational and informational purposes only. There is no liability on the part of Dr. Raymond for any reactions you may have while reading the article or implementing any of the suggestion therein. Interacting with this material does not constitute a therapeutic relationship with Dr. Raymond.

 

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