We’ve been together 10 years and people often ask us, “what’s your secret?” The answer is: it takes work and a lot of breathing.
Humans in general are reactive, and especially so in our relationships. It’s this kind of negative behaviour that causes most riffs between partners.
Another major behavioural pattern we’ve noticed in ourselves and others is showing contempt towards your partner, rather than respecting them. It could be something as simple as when you’re out with friends and your partner says something which you then call them out for, or put them down in front of people. It’s that little…zing.
But these common patterns are something that can be worked through by creating some space with a little breathing.
Interrupting the pattern
The key to working through these problems is interrupting the reactive energy. For example, the anger or the frustration, or the “I was right and you were wrong” mentality. Nobody is a master at catching that reactive energy that surfaces. Your body and your mind reacts so fast that not even you can catch it sometimes.
This is especially true of those who would call themselves sensitive. Really, it’s more hyperreactive. I (Angie) experienced this when I was dealing with postnatal depression after the birth of our first child. We were both learning how to do business at the time so everything was new to us. Shane would come home and simply ask what I’d done that day but I would hear it in a negative way and therefore react negatively. I found when I took time to stop and create some space, I could react with a breath first instead of being threatened and getting on the defensive.
Moving the energy with circular breathing
You choose to let you mind run and be reactive when you want to get into a fight. By choosing to create space, you allow yourself a split-second more to think about your actions to follow.
While breathing will help you create space, you still have to be able to recognise whether you want to be right about something. You still have to recognise if what you’re saying is actual fact or whether deep down you’re just trying to get your own way.
The key here is about releasing the intensity of the emotions going on inside your body. Sometimes one breath isn’t enough. By practising our Seven-Step Quick-Start Breathing Program, you’ll understand how circular breathing can help move a lot of energy really fast.
When you get that automatic thump of energy, like anger, or frustration, or rage, and learn to shift it straight away with your breathing, you and your partner will feel much better.
It’s important to realise you shouldn’t waste time being angry at each other. We know of people who have a fight, and one of them takes off somewhere for two or three days. Or they mope around the house being angry. A lot of the time, partners are angry and show contempt towards each other, but are unsure why.
Give yourself permission to be human
If you need to take time to create space, make sure you acknowledge it. Don’t beat yourself up about it; give yourself permission to be human, to feel it and to let it go.
So, the first step is recognising you’re in that mode, recognising the frustration. The second step is to do something with your breathing that’s going to shift the energy. Whatever is needed in the moment. If anything, your partner might laugh at you. We actually think it’s vital that you start training your nervous system to do that anyway. It can work wonders in shifting the negative energy.
The results speak for themselves. You’ll start having real conversations instead of heated discussions. You’ll be able to talk like real people and more importantly, you’ll have measurable results. You’ll have more time and feel more present and then respect will always be there.
Take a look at your relationship
Another habit that can help solve some issues is taking time to look at your relationship; go from being reactive to proactive. We tend to look at our relationship the same way we look at our business.
When you’re committed to shifting the energy within yourself then you’re committed to whatever you have with your partner and making it work. It’s not just partners, it’s the same theory for your children, or even your boss.
One of the key lessons we’ve learned is that we’re not perfect. That gives us a space to make mistakes. Also, cycles are very important. We all have cycles and when you start to tune yourself with the natural cycles of nature, and the natural cycles of your body, you start to find that you are less grumpy. If you harmonise the natural energy, it opens up space for you to have an enjoyable relationship.
Learning to breathe through our relationship has allowed us to be twice or three times as effective in our business, our lives and in our careers. We create more energy, and we get more done by choosing not to spend time being angry at each other.