Sarah J. Beck, LMHC
Certified Imago Relationship Therapist
Transforming Your Relationship
Over time and certainly in response to stress, our relationship may fall into disrepair resulting in feeling distant and disconnected.
Intentionally having fun together on a regular basis results in greater feelings of connection and safety.
My son, a Pediatrition, practices this principle with his young patients at the clincic . The first thing he does when he enters the room is to get down on their level and make them laugh. This immediately creates safety, connection and a more relaxed child. The same is true for us in our relationships!
When we have fun and laugh together, we get a release of oxytocin in the brain. Oxytocin is the bonding hormone, thus resulting in a greater sense of feeling connected. When we feel more connected in our relationship, we feel safe and relaxed.
How to get started: Sit down with your spouse/significant other and write down all the fun things you can think of, both high energy fun (activities that get your heart rate going!) and low energy fun. Then combine your lists including the things you both think are fun. Now you have a working list .
1-2x per week, intentionally schedule time together, pick an activity and have fun! Couples can take turns every other week picking the activity. Pick one high energy and one low.
Two rules: No kids allowed. This time is reserved for the two of you. No negative talk or discussing problems/ issues. Keep the conversation positive and well, fun!
Research shows that doing something novel together, even going to a new restaurant across town rather than your regular favorite can give a boost to oxytocin levels as well!
Need some ideas for fun activities at little or no cost?
Low: Give each other massages, hot tub, eagle watcing, cook together, board games, cards, puzzles, book store, rent a movie, read jokes to each other.
High: (Winter) sledding, sex, walking/hiking, working out, dancing, toy store (remember the movie, "Big"?) Wii video games
Make it your 2012 relationship goal to have more fun!!