Category Archives: Peace

Why You Should Pick A Fight With Your Partner

A few years ago PREPARE/ENRICH conducted a survey of over 50,000 married couples. It turned out that 78% of couples reported that they go out of their way to avoid conflict with their partner.

Maybe we could interpret this as a good thing—that the majority of couples are simply extra polite and courteous to their partner, not wanting to upset them.

Unfortunately, this is not the case. Avoiding conflict was listed as one of the top five conflict-relatedproblems for couples. “Why is it a problem?” you might ask. “Isn’t it a good thing to get along with your spouse?” Yes, it is, for the most part. But conflict in relationships is inevitable, and when managed in a healthy way, it’s also a vehicle for relationship growth.

I, like many others I’m sure, have learned the hard way that avoiding conflict does not make issues go away. I used to be the master of not speaking up when I was mad or upset about something. Instead, I would secretly hope that my partner would figure out I was mad and subsequently apologize. Shockingly, he was not (and still is not) a mind reader, and in the meantime my resentment would build upon itself, until inevitably I would blow up over something seemingly small and/or unrelated to the actual issue. At that point, he would realize, “Hmm, she is mad about… something,” and I would then have the pleasant task of trying to explain why I was actually mad—because of that thing that happened weeks ago.

With time (and some tears), I learned that even though it can be uncomfortable and sometimes cause temporary conflict with my partner, it is crucial to address feelings and issues head on. I’ve learned to think about it this way: when I ignore an issue in order to avoid conflict, I am taking a step away from my partner, distancing myself from him by adding a brick to the metaphorical wall between us. By talking to my partner about the problem (while remembering to utilize assertive communication and active listening, of course), I learn more about myself, about my partner, and how we can be better for each other, ultimately bringing us closer as a couple.

It would be nice to be able to say, “Lesson learned!” and claim that I no longer struggle with avoiding conflict, but that would be untrue. Working through contentious issues is still hard; it is still uncomfortable. It will probably never be something I look forward to. For me, it’s like working out: I don’t want to do it. But when it’s over, I always feel better. And my body (or in this case, my relationship) is stronger because of it.

Nature – The Best Kept Secret – It’s Better Than Drugs

023By Terri Mudge

Nature is Captivating!

I have been captivated by the power of nature! When I stumbled on some research that proved its power in restoring our wellbeing, I paid attention. Here’s what I found.

Studies at a hospital in Pennsylvania from 1972-81 generated some interesting data about the power of nature. Identical hospital rooms on either side of the building were the same except the view from the windows–one side faced a brick wall, while the other side faced a small stand of trees.  Over many years, the patients facing the natural environment required less pain medication and recovered a day sooner than those facing the brick wall. Patients gazing out at a natural scene were four times better off than their counterparts!

In another study, psychologists studied a group of parents living with their children in upstate New York. While many of the families experienced hardships and stresses when their children were growing up, those that lived in more natural environments seemed to withstand stresses better and show a higher level of self-esteem and lower stress.

Another study asked hundreds of parents of children with ADD (attention deficit disorder), again and again reports showed that those playing outside in nature or even simply viewing nature from inside, were happier and more likely to interact with friends.

Nature Draws Us In

What is it about the natural environment? How does this work? William James, an early psychologist from the 1800s explained “involuntary attention” as something that gets our attention without any mental effort on our part. Our natural environment is full of things that capture our attention involuntarily, such as water rippling in the wind, breezes blowing clouds across the sky and ocean currents sending waves ashore. And this restores us! In the same way food and water restore our bodies, we can benefit from nature restoring our mental functioning that takes a beating in everyday life.

Nature Restores Us

Psychologists refer to this as the “Attention Restoration Theory” (ART).  One article by Adam Alter explains it this way:

“According to ART, urban environments are draining because they force us to direct our attention to specific tasks (e.g., avoiding the onslaught of traffic) and grab our attention dynamically, compelling us to “look here!” before telling us to instead “look over there!” These demands are draining — and they’re also absent in natural environments.”

Our natural environments demand nothing and yet they are ever-changing. When they move and shift, they grab our attention, require nothing, and provide an opportunity to restore our exhausted minds. Let’s challenge each other to take some time out this week to spend a couple hours with nature without any agenda of doing anything specific or urgent. Just be. Just soak it in and take note of how it changes your mood and mindset.

Prescription For Nature - Video Screenshot

Posted by 4biddenknowledge on Tuesday, February 2, 2016


Source: Alter, Adam. “DailyGood: How Nature Resets Our Minds and Bodies.” DailyGood: How Nature Resets Our Minds and Bodies. DailyGood, 29 Mar. 2013. Web. 16 Mar. 2016.