Do Your Relationships Need A Little Feng Shui?

By Katya Juliet

We know every relationship requires positive energy and mutual efforts in order to stay healthy. But what if, regardless of all your effort and energy, your relationships at home or work were still being negatively impacted just because your interior decorating skills? No, I’m not suggesting you go out and completely remodel your home. But do consider how your environment is laid out and what affects could be at play.

Within the realm of interpersonal relationships and communication, there is something called Microenvironmental Features, which generally states that the environment around you has specific subtle effects on levels of personal attraction and the liking of others. Everything from the color of the walls and lighting to the materials and facing-direction of your furniture can cause your relationship to further unite or even polarize.

Communication research within the book Close Encounters (3rd edition, Guerrero, Anderson and Afifi) states “Environments that encourage interaction by providing a cozy atmosphere can promote attraction. Environments that put people face-to-face in close proximity can also enhance attraction. And the emotions people experience due to the environment can also be related to attraction.”

Part of what contributes to this is something called The Reinforcement Affect Model. This is where the environment itself is producing the subtle positive emotions that transfer to those interacting within that environment. Specifically, “people unconsciously associate the feelings they experience in a particular environment with the individuals who are a part of that environment.” (Close Encounters, p.71)

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Consider the world of dating. If you feel extremely uncomfortable in your environment, would you be more or less likely to open up and share personal information or even a first kiss? Most likely, not. Comfort, emotions and levels of attractiveness come hand in hand. So, if you entered an environment on a first or second date that felt cozy, inviting and even exciting, the likeliness of a third, fourth or fifth date just got a lot higher.

Now consider this same concept but in your home with your partner or even at work with your coworkers. Both of these environments are ones in which we become so used to, the mere routine of it all can give the impression it is not having any effect on your life or relationships at all. But research now indicates that all those microenvironmental features, when done correctly, can substantially help the feelings of attraction and liking and therefore, contribute to a happier and more fulfilling relationship.

So, what should you do with this information? Take a look around. Notice the emotions and feelings you have while inside your home or office. Are they positive, negative or neutral? Could they be enhanced?

Next, consider the state of your relationships with those around you. When it comes to your shared environment:

  • Is your living environment set up so that you and your partner constantly face opposite directions and are located at great distances apart? Or is eye contact and even the “accidental” brushing against one another when passing in the hall happening relatively frequently?
  • Does your company sit in an isolated area or in a central location?
  • Do you keep your curtains and windows open or closed?
  • Are the doors to different rooms constantly closed? Are there certain rooms in your home kept private, away from your partner?

The list could go on and on. The point is, reflect. Pay attention. Pinpoint your emotions as you move from room to room. See if the environment in which you spend most of your time is helping or hindering the development of your relationships. It is true that people feel fonder to those who they find attractive. So, if just a few small tweaks of your living room can help the feelings of positivity and attractiveness flow… I say, go for it.

Thank you for following and sharing iflourish.

blackBLOGO-coral-grey-beigeFor additional support or consulting services, feel free to contact Katya Juliet through her business website, Buzzword-Consulting. Buzzword Consulting offers affordable digital marketing services, communication consulting, copywriting, PR & Social Media Management for small businesses, start-ups, entrepreneurs & non-profit Organizations. 

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EXTRA: Not related to the interpersonal communication element directly, but I have also heard great things about Color Therapy, in where the colors themselves are doing the communication. Incorporating this concept as well could help as you consider changing a few things around within your home or office environment. Here is an intro link to this form another blog titled Art Therapy, as well as a few images just in case you find this topic interesting.)

Thepsychofcolor colour therapy wheel

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Colorful Communication: Extending Your Emotional Vocabulary

By Katya Juliet

Last week I shared an introduction on neuroplasticity and how it relates to communication based off the work of Dr. Shad Hemstetter. Today, I wanted to follow-up with something semi-related: why words have the ability to change, help or hurt us so deeply.

You know how the saying goes:

“Sticks and stones will break my bones but words will never hurt me.”

Unfortunately, this is not the case and words we both say and hear can be extremely powerful triggers of emotion that can either help or hurt us in a single moment and repeatedly over time.

Words have been learned and wired in our brain and designed to trigger both emotions and previous experiences. When we hear a certain word or feedback that feels critical or hurtful, our brains reference from knowledge about that word as well as any past experiences we may have had with those words. Words have real world definitions, yes. But more importantly, they have personal meanings and definitions from which we cannot escape.

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From a neurological perspective, if we tend to repeat things back to ourselves over and over on a subconscious level in our brain, we are already feeling the effects of those words hundreds of thousands of times over. Additionally, our understanding of those words may be interpreted differently than intended by the speaker. These are some of the reasons why people begin to argue in relationships. When they misinterpret information exchanged, it could be tone or context related, but many times it can be because that individual receiving the words in feedback form has had a previous experience with those words and decided that they are either positive or negative and reacts accordingly.

Words are also used differently in different cultures. Just as social norms vary, different cultures say things in ways that may feel critical or threatening to another and therefore, it is important to be as clear and precise in pinpointing what you are really trying to say as often as you can.

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The best way to start learning how to communicate with clarity and proper intention is to widen your emotional vocabulary. In general, if you think of words as crayons and communication as art – we are limiting what we can draw by only using a few colors out of our complete crayon box.

For example, when two people in a relationship are arguing, they may use common phrases like “I feel angry, hurt or sad.” But those are actually very broad umbrella words that often don’t even begin to scratch the surface of the emotion you are truly feeling at that moment. If you dig deeper – and use more colors – you realize that you are not actually feeling angry and sad, but rather rejected and afraid.

The more emotional vocabulary words you begin to use, the better you can communicate out with others and receive feedback without feeling the need to respond defensively. By using more of the colors in your crayon box, it can cause you in turn to ask others to also use more of theirs. Together, you may get to the root cause of your issue faster.

The idea is to grow and evolve in your relationships along with your emotional vocabulary and have a better understanding of yourself and feelings along the way. If you can communicate more clearly and more often, you may be able to stop future arguments all together and save relationships from eventual deterioration.

There are many resources available online to improve and extend your emotional vocabulary. To get started, here is one link for an example of how to learn more emotional vocabulary. Begin using them in your relationship discussions for better clarity and faster resolution right away and see if it makes a positive difference for you!

Thank you for following and sharing iflourish!

blackBLOGO-coral-grey-beigeFor additional support or consulting services, feel free to contact Katya Juliet through her business website, Buzzword-Consulting. Buzzword Consulting offers affordable digital marketing services, communication consulting, copywriting, PR & Social Media Management for small businesses, start-ups, entrepreneurs & non-profit Organizations. 

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Wake Up Tomorrow Stronger And Closer To Your Goals

By Katya Juliet

I absolutely loved this and had to share.

Recently, I have been writing about positive self-talk as a base to communicate and build stronger relationships with others. That includes relationships in the professional world. In business, we know just how important a skill it is to build lasting networking relationships that will help grow and evolve our businesses most effectively. To do this takes focus and dedication. I feel the article I am about to share with you is a great resource for anyone who is looking to refocus, rebalance and officially make positive progress within his or her busy professional lives.

How To Transform Your Life in 6 Minutes a Day, by Hal Elrod, was featured on Entrepreneur.com on 10/3/14. This article walks you through a wonderful new way to start your day, while getting in some of the most positive, self-affirming and personal development best practices out there today.

Click on the link to view entire article and detailed instructions. Here is an excerpt and overview of Elrod’s acronym “SAVERS”:

How To Transform Your Life in 6 Minutes a Day

But who has time for that, right? Luckily, there is a method to do it in as little as six minutes a day. Enter the life SAVERS, a sequence that combines the six most effective personal development practices known to man. While someone could invest hours on these practices, it only takes one minute for each — or six minutes total — to see extraordinary results. Just imagine if the first six minutes of every morning began like this:

  • Minute 1: S is for silence.

  • Minute 2: A is for Affirmations.

  • Minute 3. V is for visualization.

  • Minute 4. E is for exercise.

  • Minute 5. R is for reading.

Although we do see these same methods promoted by others, most of them emphasize putting in at least 30 minutes of journaling or reading at night, for example. Which is just a constant struggle for many of us as entrepreneurs, parents, and professionals because of the time element alone. The 30 minute + methods can be risky for two reasons. First, if we are unable to find that suggested amount of uninterrupted time, it can be easy to give up on self-improvement techniques and second, even the added stress of feeling like you have failed to accomplish one more thing can send one spiraling down a less productive or stagnant path. Don’t let that be you.

This 6 minute wake up routine may be the best way to finally transform your busy life and transcend your personal development. Want to wake up every day feeling stronger and closer to your goals? Take a look and see if this might be right for you!

Hal

 

TOPIC:

How To Transform Your Life in 6 Minutes a Day

Thank you for following and sharing iflourish. Have a beautiful day!

 

 

blackBLOGO-coral-grey-beigeFor additional support or consulting services, feel free to contact Katya Juliet through her business website, Buzzword-Consulting. Buzzword Consulting offers affordable digital marketing services, communication consulting, copywriting, PR & Social Media Management for small businesses, start-ups, entrepreneurs & non-profit Organizations. 

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An Introduction to Neuroplasticity and Communication

By Katya Juliet

Every moment of every day, your brain is changing and it is affecting your mind. Yes, your brain and your mind are two different things.

In my quest to better understand the power of positive vs. negative self-talk and its effect on both our daily life and physical brain, I stumbled upon acclaimed Author and Psychologist Dr. Shad Hemstetter’s two books What To Say When You Talk To Yourself and The Power of Neuroplasticity, both of which are absolutely incredible. I highly recommend them and will be writing, referencing and sharing concepts from them.

“You are creating, at this moment, the person you’re going to become tomorrow, and you are physically wiring that person into your brain.” – Dr. Shad Hemstetter

First off, I want to introduce the concept of Neuroplasticity and how it relates to communication. Neuroplasticity can be defined as: “The brain’s ability to reorganize itself by forming new neural connections throughout life.” More specifically, neural pathways and synapses change in response to the changes going on inside you and around you: behavior changes, the way you think or feel emotion as well as changes in your environment and even damage to your brain are all factors.

When we communicate and receive feedback with other people as well as with ourselves (both consciously and unconsciously) those brain changes are taking place simultaneously. Thus, how we communicate (tone, emotion, volume) and what we communicate (positive or negative) literally changes who we are physically, who we think we are mentally, and therefore, changes how we communicate in the future as well.

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As I mentioned before, our brains and our minds are not one the same. In Chapter 7 of The Power of Neuroplasticity, Dr. Hemstetter breaks down the way it works in four parts using a computer analogy that makes it pretty easy to understand.

Part 1 The Basic Computer: This represents your physical brain.

Part 2 The Software: This represents your neural pathways and circuits we call “programs.”

Part 3 The Computer Operator: This is you – the “you” that you’re aware of. This is your conscious, thinking mind,

Part 4 The Silent Controller: This is your brain on autopilot.

Lastly, your “Subconscious Mind” is your brain’s neurons silently firing. Which leads me to my concluding thought on the introduction of this topic. Ready for my deep-thought moment?

I was watching The Dr. Phil Show one afternoon (Haha, at least I admit it) and it was a show on Bullies and Bullying. In his council to a young woman, he mentioned that what one person may have only said to us one time can actually be repeated to ourselves, by ourselves, hundreds of thousands of times a day! In that moment it registered. How much of what I think I hear is actually being told to me by others and how much of it is me saying or repeating it to myself?

For example, when we argue with someone and say things like “you always say this” or “you always do that” and they adamently say that it’s not true – while we may actually feel that way – could it be possible that they did do or say it one, maybe two times, and because it impacted us so, we then continued to repeat it to ourselves, neurologically and unconsciously, the rest of “all the times”? Wow.

In later blogs, I will share more of Dr. Hemstetter’s work and methods he shares on how to learn to self-talk with more positivity and keep an overall healthier and more optimistic mindset. This topic is very fascinating and helpful to recognize that sometimes the way we self-talk and communicate may be making our own lives better or most likely, more challenging, and certainly causing impactful change to occur within our brains 24/7/365.

What are your thoughts on Neuroplasticity? Are you interested in learning more?

blackBLOGO-coral-grey-beigeFor additional support or consulting services, feel free to contact Katya Juliet through her business website, Buzzword-Consulting. Buzzword Consulting offers affordable digital marketing services, communication consulting, copywriting, PR & Social Media Management for small businesses, start-ups, entrepreneurs & non-profit Organizations. 

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Conscious Communication Starts With Positive Self-Talk

By Katya Juliet

In our busy day-to-day lives it is easy to say the wrong thing or simply get lazy and communicate on autopilot. Our ability to communicate as a basic human function often becomes so mindless and habitual, it can get overlooked and forgotten. But communicating with conscious effort and awareness is in fact the key to any healthy and lasting relationship.

This blog is dedicated to learning how to better communicate within the many diverse relationships of our lives. Now, when I say relationships, I am including the romantic “love” kind, of course. But also, the relationships you have with your family members, platonic friendships and professionals need your time and energy too.

Our lives are full of dynamic interactions and no relationship is exactly the same. They can thrive in different environments and require more or less energy, yet all rely on good communication and active listening. Some relationships may initally feel more natural and easier to navigate and maintain than others. But over time, all relationships require effort and attention including your most intimate relationship of all: your relationship with yourself. Who would have thought? We have more conversations with ourselves on a daily basis than anyone else!

Self-Talk

Start by following one simple rule: Don’t say anything to yourself that you wouldn’t say to anyone else. Be gentle and encouraging with yourself. 

If a negative thought enters your mind, evaluate it rationally and respond with affirmations of what is good about you.” – Mayo Clinic

How we talk to ourselves inside our heads can have a tremendous effect on how we feel and thus, effect how we interact with the world around us. So, before we can truly master the art of communication in all of our external relationships, we need to spend a little time on ourselves. By learning to form conscious and constructive thoughts and saying positive affirmations aloud, we have the power to change the way we think and feel with some basic exercises, training and practice.

Practice Thinking Positive 

I-AM

It all starts with our concept of Self-Identity and understanding our own as best we can. Google defines Self –Identity as “the recognition of one’s potential and qualities as an individual, especially in relation to social context.” Miriam-Webster defines it as “the quality that makes a person or thing different than others.”

Both of these definitions help explain Self-Identity from a communication perspective:we learn how to communicate first from our social environment, interactions and especially the feedback we receive from other people around us starting at very young ages. It is those same interactions that help shape our personal identities and self-image. While we continue to learn and further develop our communication skills over time, the imprint of those initial environments and interactions shaped the core of who we believe ourselves to be and how we communicate inside and out. But don’t worry –  if your outlook tends to error on the negative side or you suffer from chronic critical self-thoughts, you are not alone and there are ways to combat it.

“If you tend to have a negative outlook, don’t expect to become an optimist overnight. But with practice, eventually your self-talk will contain less self-criticism and more self-acceptance. You may also become less critical of the world around you. When your state of mind is generally optimistic, you’re better able to handle everyday stress in a more constructive way. That ability may contribute to the widely observed health benefits of positive thinking.” –Mayo Clinic

HERE ARE SOME OF THE TIPS LISTED ON THE MAYO CLINIC WEBSITE TO HELP YOU PRACTICE YOUR POSITIVE THINKING AND SELF-TALK.

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TO VIEW MORE REGARDING POSITIVE THINKING AND SELF-TALK, GO TO MAYO CLINIC BY CLICKING HERE.

Healthy relationships start with a positive mindset and thrive with effective communication. So remember, if i flourish, we flourish! Please share how you practice keeping a positive mindset and what has helped you with your self-talk habits in the comments below. Thanks!

blackBLOGO-coral-grey-beigeFor additional support or consulting services, feel free to contact Katya Juliet through her business website, Buzzword-Consulting. Buzzword Consulting offers affordable digital marketing services, communication consulting, copywriting, PR & Social Media Management for small businesses, start-ups, entrepreneurs & non-profit Organizations. 

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