Unfortunately I get to see how partners get in their own way when trying to create connection and intimacy with each other. I can hear the noise in their head. I can see the wheels turning. I can see the gears grinding. I can see the squirrels running around, some even holding on to nuts for posterity… I can see the wreckage. I can see the black hole. I can see their pain. If there was a device I could put on to see in their head, I would get these images. But wait, there is a device that can see in our heads, that measures brain activity…

Brain scans show images of certain parts of the brain lit up according to our self-torture predispositions… Certain parts of the brain get more activated than others for each of us, which give a certain flavor to our struggle or MO: Love and Depression (Deep Limbic System) – Moodiness, irritability, increased negative thinking and perception of events, decreased motivation, social isolation, decreased/increased sexual responsiveness Anxiety and Fear (Basal Ganglia) – Anxiety, nervousness, panic attacks, tendency to predict the worst, conflict avoidance, headaches, low/excessive motivation Inattention and Impulsivity (Prefrontal Cortex) – Short attention span, distractibility, lack of perseverance, impulse control problems, hyperactivity, chronic lateness, poor time management, disorganization, procrastination, unavailability of emotions, misperceptions, poor judgment, trouble learning from experience, short-term memory problems, social and test anxiety

Worry and Obsessiveness (Cingulate System) – Worrying, holding on to hurts from the past, getting stuck on thoughts (obsessions), getting stuck on behaviors (compulsions), oppositional behavior, argumentativeness, uncooperativeness, tendency to say no automatically, addictive behaviors (alcohol or drug abuse, eating disorders, etc.), chronic pain, cognitive inflexibility Memory and Temper (Temporal Lobes) – [left lobe] Aggression (internally or externally directed), dark or violent thoughts, sensitivity to slights, mild paranoia, word-finding problems, auditory processing problems, reading difficulties, emotional instability. [right lobe] Difficulty recognizing facial expressions, difficulty decoding vocal intonation, implicated in social-skill struggles

Nobody has a perfect brain. Nobody was raised (parented) perfectly that their brain wired itself perfectly. As you may know we develop, our brain evolves and our personality is organized, according to our interactions and experiences growing up. We also have genetic predispositions of course. These create our unique brain with its own sensitivities and ingrained neuron firing patterns that inform how we show up on a daily basis. When we understand that our brain and our mind are running the show on autopilot and from previous unapproved programming (if we haven’t done sufficient personal development work), we finally understand that we are living a life and relationship by default… We are living our human experience in reactive mode, with blinders on and banging into the walls around us. While at the mercy of our raw brain and mind, we get hang up on how we see interactions with our partner and their MO. We focus on how they are showing up…

This is the doom approach to our relationship, first because this is a boundary transgression. Second, because we use dirty lenses to filter interactions flowing already from psychological defenses and brain-activity byproducts… In other words, our interactions are littered with unconscious and reactive processes. Partners take this at face value and think that what they see is who their partner is…

What’s showing up in our interactions though is not who we are… What’s showing up in our interactions is an automatic program that we didn’t purposefully install and that is running on a glitchy or outdated operating system. These are foibles of our human condition. These riddle our experience with uneasiness and struggle. We have to remember that we are Spiritual Beings having a human experience. That the real us is obstructed by this mechanics; our brilliance, our essence is muffled. Without launching into a philosophical and existential presentation now, suffice it to say that if we focus solely on what’s in front of our face that we are completely missing the boat.

How do we make sure we are not left behind…? We need to take charge of our own brain and mind. How do we take charge of our brain and mind? We need to implement and stick to a mindfulness practice. A mindfulness practice can take on all kinds of forms – do not worry that you can’t meditate!

Mindfulness practices calm the mind and by extension soothe the brain. In the soothing we actually rewire the brain by triggering different neuron firing patterns. Thus, we alleviate the sensitive areas that are on overdrive. We improve the function of our go-to areas getting better gas mileage. We integrate all parts of the brain, gaining access to areas we usually don’t access. We improve our overall functioning, health and wellbeing including increasing our vibrational frequency. The investment required to integrate a mindfulness practice into our overall self-care practice is minimal in comparison to the gargantuan benefits we gain. This is gaining benefits on steroids!

Boundary setting and getting needs met: A great boundary is to implement and safeguard your self-care practice, even from yourself! Implement a robust self-care practice that includes things like me-time, fitness, restorative sleep, healthy-conscious-eating, and such and of course mindfulness activities into your routine. Mindfulness activities include things like: prayer, visualization, affirmations, journaling, etc. All these have meditative properties. Meditation does not have to take on the traditional monk-form we usually think of when we think of meditation. Coloring, knitting, running, swimming, dancing have meditative properties. The trick is not to focus on the thinking but to focus on something else like breathing, feelings, a point on the wall, the movement of waves or beautiful scenery. Men and women have different meditative experiences and preferences (no surprise there, what do we do and like the same?!). Men look for the stillness and emptiness… Women look for the flow and connection/love… We can use this to experiment with different types of meditation styles or activities. The goal is to quite the mind… A mistake people make when trying to meditate is focus on not thinking which creates more thinking… So, leave your thoughts alone and focus on something else. Also, take into consideration what type of brain sensitivities you have and select meditative practices that work with your type of brain. Knowing and working with how you are wired, and understanding your partner from this vantage point, is a huge help in better understanding interactions and for more effortlessly getting on the same page. As you rewire yourself with mindfulness practice and intentionality in your life, the easier life and your relationship become. Trust me, give mindfulness a whirl!

Complete the MetroRelationship™ Assignment below to help you effortlessly implement this, make changes and immediately start experiencing your awesome and radiant relationship, and authentic and meaningful life…

Happy Minding!

P.S. We are now providing monthly personal growth and relationship nurturing workshops! For details on our next Connection Workshop™ visit here!

~ Your MetroRelationship™ Assignment Identify your brain sensitivities:

Love and Depression (Deep Limbic System)
Anxiety and Fear (Basal Ganglia)
Inattention and Impulsivity (Prefrontal Cortex)
Worry and Obsessiveness (Cingulate System)
Memory and Temper (Temporal Lobes)
Devise a brain-rewiring program that targets your brain sensitivities, using things like:

Giving a lot of hugs, getting massages, plant nurturing
List-making, organizing
Reducing distractions, playing focus games
Doing grounding exercises (deep breathing, etc.) at preset intervals throughout the day
Channeling aggressive energy, playing memory games
Note, you might have a few sensitivities. Target your most prevalent one. Select simple targeted repeatable activities to do on an ongoing basis. When you get tired of them, replace them with similar activities that continue to address or support you in your target area. Remember to always have a mindfulness practice in place as well… Soon enough you’ll start noticing how your brain is operating differently… Stay tuned for this; it’s pretty cool when you notice it!

~ Share Your Thoughts & Successes in the comment box at the end!

Take a moment now to share below any thoughts, comments, take away, tips, and successes! PLEASE post a comment now – we grow in community!

Thanks for connecting with the MetroRelationship™ Family!

Author's Bio: 

Emma K. Viglucci, LMFT has been in the mental health field in varying capacities for the past 20+ years. She is the Founder and Director of MetroRelationship.com a psychotherapy and coaching practice specializing in working with busy professional and entrepreneurial couples who are struggling getting on the same page and feeling connected.