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Communication tip:

To ease is a lot easier

Have you ever said something because you were too discomposed? You were in an argument and somehow started blaming each other, getting unreasonable, saying something you rued later, and making each other steadily angrier?
In hindsight it seemed to be unproductive and not friendly? And moreover insulting and hurting it was no fun at all, right…?!

The good news:
You can change that behaviour!
And the even better news:
There are several ways to react more relaxed in agitating situations.
And almost the best news: They are more or less easy!

It would to go beyond the scope of this tip to explain each of these methods right here in each detail so I just give you some suggestions.


In a strained argument:

  • Relax your thoughts
    Just think for a second at something completely different, something warm, comfortable, secure, cosy... a baby turtle, or something like that. It is like a reset for your brain and makes it easier to switch on your logic afterwards.
  • Take a break
    Whenever it is useful and possible: Go out of the room for a moment, drink a glass of water, pet your cat, or do anything else till you are calmed down and till you can think clearer again. (Tell your conversational partner that you are going to calm down and that you will come back to solve the problem before you leave.) Think about what you want and which it the easiest and most relaxed way for you and your conversational partner to get what both of you like to get.
  • Use a slogan:
    Prepare a slogan for yourself and use it in a stressful situation. “I stay friendly whatever he says!”, “Staying calm makes me think clearer!”, “To relax my stomach makes me have much more fun!” or whatever fits for you personally. Some parts of song texts work very well for this purpose!
  • Count to five
    Probably we all heard that before: ‘Count to five before you say something.’ Even if I like numbers, counting didn’t relax me much, but I mention it here for the sake of completeness.

And as a prophylactic
All these following methods are great ways to teach your brain to stay calm if you want it to. You train yourself to relax while doing the exercises - and furthermore you can generalise relaxation as your everyday attitude.

  • Learn Yoga exercises
    While Yoga evolved as a spiritual practice, in the West it has grown popular as a form of purely physical exercise. And nevertheless the practice of asanas (postures) will help you to relax - and stay fitter and healthier. Common to most forms of yoga is the practice of concentration (dharana) and meditation (dhyana).

  • Self hypnosis / Autosuggestion
    Learn Self hypnosis and Autosuggestion. You will see many benefits pretty soon! For the beginning try a mental visualisation and self-affirmations of a relaxed situation. And then work on advanced aims. Do that as often and as well as you have to - till you reached your goal.
  • Progressive muscle relaxation
    Progressive muscle relaxation is a nice exercise of alternately tensing and relaxing specific groups of muscles. After tension, a muscle will be more relaxed than prior to the tensing. Concentrate on the feeling of the muscles, specifically the contrast between tension and relaxation. After practising for a while you will recognise tension in any specific muscle and be able to reduce that tension.
  • Autogenic training
    Autogenic training is a method to influence your autonomic nervous system and involves a series of sessions in which you learn to relax your limbs, heart, and breathing.
    The goal is to induce a pleasant, warm feeling throughout most of your body and induce a comfortable feeling of coolness in the forehead.
  • Meditation
    Meditation describes a state of concentrated attention on some object of thought or awareness. It usually involves turning the attention inward to the mind itself.

You will find out that when you calm yourself down and react relaxed your partner will do the same - and you can together find an easier way to settle down the dispute and create a pleasurable solution for both of you.

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