The advise of the other two therapists is to see a counsellors about underlying issues is wise advise.
Nearly all the couples I counsel say that they argue over something small. This is because the subconscious mind stores unresolved issues, such as lack of respect “they don't listen to me” in a file and that file builds up over time. When you get an trigger about a lack of respect issue, then the whole file gets activated and all the emotion comes out. Your subconscious mind works in emotional order, not time order. It doesn't recognise events as “old” only that they are still present.
However, if you want to try something better that counting to 10 try the Stop, Find method.
This method works for 80% of my clients who have anger issues.
The method is:
1 Say the words “stop, find calm” 100 times a day in your head, not out aloud.
2. Take no responsbility for being calm. That is, don't try and relax or think about it. Say the words as though they are Japanese words and mean nothing to you.
3. Say this repeatedly for 7 days. However, after two days you will feel calmer. Then when you feel anger say the words “stop, find calm” and your anger will drop.
4. After doing this for a month your sub-conscious mind will automatically feel calm when you get angry
The reason this works is that the subconscious mind processes information at 40 million/bits/second and the conscious mind at 40 bits per second. If you interupt the process of finding calm with logic or positive thinking, then you are destroying the process.
Rumination, which is going over something negative in your head is the worst thing you can do, becuase your subconscious brain doesn't use logic, it is a patterning system which finds things very quickly. If you ruminate, then you add more negative emotions to your “lack of respect” file.
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