Curated from: Learn - shy
Hello, lovebirds! If you’ve found your way to this article, it might mean that you’re currently facing some relationship issues and are seeking some help.
No relationship is perfect, and despite how ideal things seem to be between you, bumps in the road along your journey is pretty much a given. And instead of fighting it out or shoving it under a rug, engaging activities and conversations that are beneficial can help to pull you out of the trenches and strengthen your relationship.
We get that going to actual therapy sessions might feel unnecessary if your relationship issues are not at such explosive or unmanageable levels yet, so here are some at-home therapy activities that you could consider trying:
If you are interested in actual therapy sessions, here are some online and physical options for Singapore.
1. Honesty Hour
“Honesty Hour” is a check-in session where couples can speak frankly and kindly about the state of their relationship. This can take place weekly, monthly, or even daily if that would be better for you. During the session, you can talk about anything that is bothering you about the relationship, the improvements you would like to see, and whatever associated feelings you have.
What sets it apart from other normal conversations is that this allocated space will be completely judgement-free, meant to promote complete honesty between each other. You must both have the mutual agreement to not get offended or hold a grudge over what is shared by your partner during the hour. This allows the both of you a chance to speak out and really have your opinions heard.
Big conversations don’t always fit into the busyness of everyday life, so it is good to have a set time where you can intentionally take stock of issues in the relationship so that tension does not build under the surface.
2. Soul gazing
Since the eyes are supposedly the windows to the soul, what better way to do a little soul searching into and with your partner than by looking deeply and intently into their eyes? It might sound a little meaningless — or highkey awkward, even — but initiating long-held eye contact with someone has been recognised to build trust and break down the walls between you and the person you’re looking at to promote togetherness.
There is also scientific proof to support this. Your brain contains mirror neurons that are fast-tracked for affection, sociability, and companionship which get activated by looking into someone’s eyes.
Eye contact can be maintained for about 3 to 5 minutes per session. And yes, you are allowed to blink during this session!
3. Resolve all arguments before the day ends
Another phrase that you’ve probably heard before is “don’t go to bed angry”, but did you know that there is scientific studies proven behind this statement? In a study done on 73 students in Beijing Normal University, it was found that the students who went to bed immediately after arguing or experiencing trauma caused the brain to protect that negative emotion, keeping it fresh and clear in the mind.
Therefore, by going to bed angry with issues left unresolved, you cause yourself to dwell on the matter throughout the night, making yourself more bitter while impacting your chances for a restful sleep.
We know that completely resolving the issue before bed might be extremely challenging in some situations, so as a start, you can both agree that you would like to put the argument on hold, and before going to bed, it would be good to practice some small gratitude exercises to remind yourself and each other about the positives in your relationship.
Once you are well-rested in the morning, you can review the issue with a clearer mindset, facilitating more productive discussions.
4. The Appreciative Inquiry
An approach drawn from positive psychology and storytelling, the Appreciative Inquiry aims to create an alignment of strengths that render weaknesses irrelevant, in the context of where your issue is taking place. In other words, it allows people to focus on what is working in their groups, rather than the aspects that are not working.
This can remind a couple that they are a team with common desires, goals, and traits, and how they can utilise each other’s strengths to design a solution to the relationship issues they have.
Start by describing the relationship at its current state, and the positive and negative feelings you may have about it
Discovery: Recall a shared experience that you want to celebrate. What made it so positive? What qualities did you and your partner bring to that moment?. Next, reflect on your and your partner’s positive contributions to the relationship. What do you each bring to the relationship that keeps its development healthy? What makes your contributions work?
Dream: Envision your perfect future together and describe the dreams you both have for the relationship
Design: Plan out the concrete steps you could take so you both work towards your dream future
Destiny: Use this space to lay out your respective intentions and put your commitment in writing. Include the reasons for any commitment you write down and keep your rationale meaningful