Think of the way a lioness stalks, how a deer freezes in the distance, or how a dog always seems to sense your arrival long before you arrive home. Instincts are amazing, powerful, and life-saving. As human beings with an observing self, we have learned to appropriately suppress certain instincts and desires, in order to live in a functioning society, and form lasting relationships, to ensure our survival.
But have we gone too far?
Are we so removed from our instincts that we don’t tune into them, or ignore them entirely?
Have you ever gone against your gut and immediately regretted it?
It’s thought that most negative emotions stem from fear, that they are triggered by our instincts when we feel threatened. Does this mean we become more removed from our emotions when we suppress our instincts?
Failure to tune into our emotions or express them effectively to our partners can lead to conflict and the development of deep-rooted problems in relationships.
So spend some time every day tuning in to your instincts and emotions. Notice how your body feels physically. Look for areas of tension and pain, notice your heart rate and your breathing. These physical signs can all give you clues as to how you are feeling. Jaw tension? Perhaps you are angry. Shoulders stiff and painful? Perhaps you are stressed.
And if you have the sense that things aren’t quite right in your relationship, don’t ignore that inner voice and allow problems to build up. Even if you don’t fully understand the message, talk to your partner about how you are feeling. The chances are they are feeling the same.
Tuning in to your body and emotional triggers are a key component of my Compassionate Conflict for Couples Course. If you would like to know more, click on the link below, and begin your journey towards healthy conflict resolution.