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Relationship in lockdown

Flourishing or crumbling?

This pandemic not only devastated the global financial market and medical systems in many countries, but also had a profound social cultural impact.

Couples/families have to physically isolate themselves from social circles and spend more time together during the lockdown, which in many cases exacerbated marital and relationship problems. The divorce filings in China have surged since March 2020 after mandatory self-quarantine measures were lifted.

There are also families who are thriving at the same time, enjoying the family bonding and becoming stronger as a team. These are the families who take social isolation as a perfect time for self connection, who disassociate themselves from the material outer world and focus within, who know the ultimate power to create is within themselves, who understand that they are responsible for their own happiness, and who are capable of seeing the silver lining in tough situations.

We want to be one of these families. While the pandemic brought a huge amount of uncertainty and associated anxiety and stress to the family relationships, we do always have a choice, a choice of falling apart or rising up.

“Refocusing Thoughts”, a Cognitive Behavioral Technique is one of many tools I teach to help people stay calm and centered at difficult times.

We cannot overlook the power of the mind, because everything we see and experience in life, including relationship, starts with a thought. Thoughts create emotions, emotions lead to behaviors, behaviors create experiences, experiences create reality. We are truly what we think.

When we are in a heightened anxious and depressed state, we tend to go into a downward spiral and think about the worst scenario, which represents only 1% the possibility. What about the other 99%?

To cut the negative neurological feedback loop, this technique teaches us to stop at the first thought and ask ourselves to think differently, i.e. focusing on what I want to happen and what I can do about it, now (see example below).

The purpose of this technique is to bring us back to the present moment and focus on doing the next right thing, right now.

As the wisdom of Lao Tsu goes: we are depressed when we live in the past, we are anxious when we live in the future, we are in peace when we live in the present moment.

Let's focus on the NOW and make this a focused, self-connected, and growth-centered time.

EXAMPLE FACT - Husband forgot to put the rubbish bin out last night. Downward Spiral Toxic Thought Oh my gosh! He forgot about it again! He did this 5 times over the last 2 months. How could he not remember a simple task like this? He is so not reliable. How could I trust him with anything? Oh my, I married the wrong man. Refocused Thought What do I want to happen - Husband remembers to take the rubbish bin out next time What can I do about it - Talk to him and suggest he put a reminder on the phone. Or I set a reminder on my phone to remind him. Or I take the rubbish bin out next time.

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