At the end of this article Jason and I offer three principles that are key for maintaining amazing relationships. But it’s not just about your relationship. In our workshops and in my alternative medicine practice, we’ve seen firsthand the close connection between the quality of people’s intimate relationships, their emotional well being and a person’s mental and physical health. Resolving emotional obstacles created by relationship challenges is critical for living a healthy lifestyle.
First, a little background.
In the fall of 2009, Dr. David Simon, the Medical Director of the Chopra Centre for Wellbeing, and author of Free to Love Free to Heal, made the following comment on the research direction being undertaken by the United States Government’s National Centre for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM):
“My experience is that many people seeking alternative healthcare approaches are struggling with unresolved emotional needs, which have been poorly addressed by both the conventional and alternative medical communities…We should refocus the efforts of NCCAM on the emotional-physical connection, seeking more effective ways to help people heal their bodies by healing their emotions.”
– Dr. David Simon, “Alternative Medicine Research Questioned”, The Noetic Post, (Fall/Winter 2009-10)
The emotional impact of problems in personal intimate relationships is powerful; and we know from research that the stress caused by these emotional upheavals can lead to mental and physical health challenges ranging from depression to heart disease.
Emotional dis-ease can be caused by other triggers than relationships, but…
Finances, career issues, and control over time are just a few common causes of stress and emotional upheaval. Problems in relationships, however, are inherently different from an emotional perspective. By definition, relationships are emotional. Most other causes of stress are not. Without emotion there is no relationship. Relationships between people are defined by the emotions they create – e.g., love, hate, anger, happiness, lust.
On the other hand, there is no inherent connection between emotions and stressors like finances or career progression. Although a variety of emotions can accompany outcomes in these areas, those emotions are not necessarily part of the package. How do we know this? Because, for example, you can separate finances and your emotions. Financial experts will tell you to not become attached to any particular outcome in your investments. Remain detached and objective. In other words, don’t let your emotions rule your financial decisions and results. It can be a challenge, but it’s possible.
Can you imagine, however, a relationship counselor offering similar advice? “Don’t become emotionally attached to your husband or to the outcome of your marriage.” It wouldn’t happen. Relationships and emotions cannot be separated. As your relationships go, so go your emotions; and, as Dr. Simon points out, as your emotions go so goes your health. Therefore, when we talk about healing the body by healing emotions an appropriate amount of attention must be given to healing relationships.
Principles You Can Use Today
The good news is that understanding a few simple principles of natural relating can both heal emotional distress from past and current relationships as well as cement fulfilling and satisfying relationships as a permanent part of your healthy lifestyle. Three of these principles are found in the following 2 simple sentences, which we include in almost every email we send:
“Now Go Appreciate a Man and Cherish a Woman. That’s All It Takes.”
Let’s look at these two sentences more closely:
1) “Appreciate a Man”
Women underestimate the impact they have on men. During a dinner party in 2008, Donna asked one of the guests what one thing she would like every man to know about women. She thought for a moment, then said, “I would like men to know just how powerful women are.” A few minutes later Donna asked a man a similar question, “What one thing would you like women to know about men?” He answered, “That men know women are powerful.”
As a woman, everything you say, how you say it and the look on your face when you say it impacts men powerfully. Nothing impacts a man for the good more than your approval and appreciation of what he does for you and your family. Here’s the formula, that when applied consistently, will produce magical results:
Thank him (include what you’re thanking him for) + How what he did made you feel = 1 Highly-Motivated Man
Your appreciation of him is the fuel that drives him at home, in the office and in your relationship. If he knows he’s winning with you he will move mountains.
2) “Cherish a Woman”
Men feel best when they are producing. It’s what they’re good at and what they enjoy most. That’s why many men wish – even pray – that providing a nice home, paying all the bills, springing for the occasional vacation and showering her with gifts is all it takes to make her happy. For men that stuff is easy. What women really want in relationship, however, is to be cherished, to receive quality attention from her guy. For men, entering this realm called “relationship” is not where they are at their best. It’s outside their natural domain.
What does quality attention look like? It’s asking her how her day was and really listening to what she says. It’s showing her she’s on your mind by hiding romantic notes in places where you know she’ll find them. It’s sending her a spontaneous email from the office telling her you love her. It’s looking her in the eyes when you talk to her. It’s hearing the big and little things she wants and getting them for her. It’s making love to her in a way that says she’s precious and the only woman for you.
3) “That’s All It Takes”
If your relationship seems like work – if it seems too complicated – you’re taking the hard route. Remembering to K.I.S.S. can help – Keep It Simple and Satisfying (and K.I.S.S. a lot!). And a simple way to a more satisfying relationship is to appreciate him and cherish her. During the “Divine Dance of the Sexes” Couples Weekend Workshop we look at these and many other principles of natural relating in much more detail. At a basic level, however, appreciating him and cherishing her is a powerful place to start.