Entries in coping (10)

Friday
Feb202015

Stronger Relationships Make For A Stronger You

One thing that relationship research has taught us is that good relationships are good for us. Many studies have demonstrated that solid relationships are associated with better health and longer life. In fact, having strong relationships is a better predictor of mortality than any other healthy lifestyle behavior.1 But why are relationships so beneficial? A new review of the research by Brooke Feeney and Nancy Collins2 unlocks the secrets of how good relationships help us flourish. 

According to Feeney and Collins, there are two ways for us to thrive in life: 1) successfully coping with adversity, and 2) pursuing personal goals and opportunities for growth. Strong relationships can help with both. 

Click to read more ...

Monday
May052014

The Not-So-Spotless Mind: How to Achieve Eternal Sunshine After a Breakup

While planning a get-together with my friends recently, one of my girlfriends immediately took a happy hour venue off the table because the location reminded her too much of her ex-husband. The odds of running into her ex-husband were very low at this watering hole, but she did not want to be reminded of him while we were out. I have known many people to do this -- avoid travel destinations, restaurants or bars, or even stop doing a hobby that they previously enjoyed because it reminded them too much of their ex-partner. Admittedly, there have been times in my own life when I have avoided doing things because it was too painful to be reminded of a lost love, such as not listening to a whole genre of music (reggae) for a few years because it only reminded me of my ex-husband.

Click to read more ...

Friday
Apr252014

We Suck. I Suck. Let’s Do Shots!: When Do Relationships Affect Drinking Behaviors?

As a relationship researcher and college instructor I often have conversations with students who are experiencing difficulties in their relationships. More often than not, I direct or escort students to our local campus counseling and mental health center. But there are times when students’ levels of distress don’t require professional intervention; they just want to learn more about relationships so they can better understand their own. I typically take this opportunity to remind students that conflict and ‘downtimes’ in relationships are common; it’s very difficult for two people whose lives are intertwined to not occasionally be unhappy with their partners or relationships. Students, in turn, often take the opportunity to remind me that just because what they are going through is common doesn’t mean it doesn’t suck (I jest; I fully recognize this fact). This is an important point --- not getting along with somebody we care about is not fun, and can often be quite frustrating. But is relationship conflict more frustrating for some than others?  And do some people try to cope with or otherwise deal with their relationship difficulties in an unhealthy manner?  According to recently published research in the Journal of Social and Personal Relationships, the answer to both questions is “yes”.

Click to read more ...

Monday
Mar102014

Revenge and Rebound Sex: Bouncing Back, Into Bed

One of the sad truths about dating is that sometimes you get dumped, and when you do, you’re probably going to be pretty pissed at your ex. If you want to get back at them for making the worst mistake of their lives, jumping into bed with someone else will surely teach them a lesson, right? Or if your breakup simply has you feeling blue, maybe you think that hooking up with someone else will help you feel better, at least for a little while.

Click to read more ...

Monday
Oct212013

“I Need Closure!” Why It Is Not Possible To Get It

“Closure” is a term I have heard bandied about by many of my friends over the years, but I have always wondered what it really means. For example, after my friend Daphne’s long-distance boyfriend broke up with her over the phone, she told me she needed to fly from NYC to London to see him in person to “get closure.” Even after she saw him in person, she still didn’t feel like things were really over. The meaning of closure is something I have grappled with when trying to make sense of one of my own past relationships. I spent the better part of 10 years trying to get closure with The Question Mark so that I could move on, trying everything from writing him long treatises on why our relationship could never work, to hashing things out in person in order to finally say “goodbye.”

Click to read more ...

Sunday
Nov112012

Helping a Friend After a Divorce

Tuesday
Jun052012

Note to Gotye: It's Probably Better that She Cut You Off

Poor, Gotye. Have you learned nothing from the heartbroken crooners before you? Sure, the heartache and gut-wrenching pain of staying connected to an ex-partner makes for excellent music, but did you really want to put yourself through that? I say, why not just thank your ex for ripping the band-aid off quickly, and keep moving forward?

Click to read more ...

Tuesday
Dec062011

Give Yourself a Break: How to Cope with a Recent Divorce

Breaking up is stressful, but greater self-compassion helps individuals cope with their own marital separations. Over 100 middle-aged adults spoke about a recent marital separation during a 4 minute stream-of-consciousness recording. Based on judges’ ratings, participants who expressed greater self-kindness (e.g., “you have to…just forgive yourself”), mindfulness (e.g., “you just have to deal with reality”), and common humanity (e.g., “tell yourself you’re not the only person to experience this”) reported less stress 9 months later. 

Sbarra, D. A, Smith, H. L., & Mehl, M. R. (in press). When leaving your ex, love yourself: Observational ratings of self-compassion predict the course of emotional recovery following marital separation. Psychological Science.

Wednesday
Aug172011

Relationships 101: Having Healthy Relationships in Your First Year of College 

For a .PDF version of this article, please click here. This article is free to any college/university for dissemination to students (e.g., as part of college orientation, first-year seminar, or college course).

College is all about new experiences: the start of a new life, new friends, new freedom, and new relationship experiences. Not surprisingly, romantic relationships are responsible for life’s happiest moments.1 For that reason, it is important to avoid problematic relationships that could jeopardize your college education. To help, we’ll identify qualities of healthy relationships in the context of common relationship experiences that students encounter during their first year in college.

Click to read more ...

Friday
Jul222011

Stress: It Does a Marriage Good

Couples who report larger amounts of stress outside their marriages also tend to report less satisfaction within their marriages. You have probably heard the classic “joke” about a person being mad at the boss, but she can’t yell at her boss, so she goes home and yells at her husband, who, in turn, yells at their son, who then kicks the dog, who wonders what it did wrong.  Perhaps not a very funny joke (or not funny at all), but it does illustrate a phenomenon that researchers call stress spillover: when stress from outside the marriage causes problems inside the marriage.

Click to read more ...