By Andrea Schramm, LPC
Our emotions are a natural, powerful information gathering system allowing us to quickly gather information about our own experiences and those of the people around us. Emotions are part of our communication system and influence our social connections with others. Emotions are also physical. We all know the word “feeling” associated with our emotional experiences.
So how do our emotions and our ability to understand and manage them connect us with others in both intimate and social relationships? How can we communicate successfully incorporating our emotions?
Emotions inform communication. “I feel good…I don’t like her…Yes, I’d love to have dinner tonight…Yuk, I hate sushi.” These are all examples of how emotions inform. Emotional experiences are often connected to our past experiences, our learning history. We experience emotions associated with events we have at some point had before which form our emotional response: “The first time I ate sushi, it was disgusting. It makes me ‘feel’ sick.” We can become programmed to respond emotionally to experiences we’ve had previously.
Here are some tips for communicating using emotionally informed behaviors:
Remember, emotions inform. Take some time to acknowledge and think about your own emotions. Why do you think you feel as you do? What past experiences formed the emotional responses you have? Learning to understand emotional responses can build a stronger sense of self and teach us to use emotions to build positive relationships with each other.
Counseling Before Marriage? How Couples' Premarital Counseling Sets Up a Successful Marriage
By Caitlin Winkler, PLPC
What is premarital counseling? You may ask, "If my future spouse and I are in love and ready to get married, why would we need counseling?"
I believe this is a common way of thinking among individuals and couples today. Counseling is often viewed as a tool to help solve a current problem or struggle, but it is also something that can be used before an obvious issue arises.
Think of it this way: if you are building a house, what is one of the most important steps? Engineers and builders would argue laying the foundation is critical. Why? Because the foundation is what everything else is built upon. Without a solid foundation, the house will be weak, it may fall, and it will not last long. The same is true with marriage. In our marriages, we often wait until we start to see the walls crumbling before we seek help.
One preventative, proactive measure to take is premarital counseling. Yes, you are excited about marriage and do not fear divorce. But what happens when the storms of life start to blow and your strength is truly tested? Premarital counseling helps to strengthen your foundation. It involves thinking, planning, discussing, compromising, and preparing for a future life together, perhaps sharing about topics not even thought about before. It is designed to be a tool that helps create solid, lasting marriages.
I am excited to offer premarital counseling at Unlimited Potential Counseling in the O'Fallon/Dardenne Prairie area. Our world needs strong marriages to help build strong families. This service is offered through a Christian perspective and integrates the importance of faith in the relationship. Please contact me and I will be happy to answer any questions you and your future spouse may have!
Caitlin Winkler is a Provisionally Licensed Professional Counselor at Unlimited Potential Counseling & Education Center in O'Fallon. Caitlin is under the clinical supervision of Emily Kircher-Morris, LPC (MO #2012026754).
By Andrea Schramm, LPC, CRC
We’re all familiar with the physical and psychological benefits of exercise for ourselves. Exercise can support weight loss, improve your heart health, improve your sleep and reduce your risk of depression. The Mayo clinic recommends just 150 minutes per week of moderate-intensity exercise, or 75 minutes per week of vigorous exercise. That’s a little over 20 minutes a day to reap the positive benefits of daily exercise! But, we all know just how difficult it can be to add just 20 minutes of something new to our busy lives.
But what if you took the time needed for physical activity and did it together with someone you love? What if sharing this time with another person gave you the boost and motivation you are looking for and fun while you exercise together? Here are some tips to getting started with exercising together as a couple.