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  • Couples: How to Regulate Yourself During Difficult Conversations

    Sharing your life with someone means having open and honest conversations, even when those conversations are a bit difficult. But that’s easier said than done.

    During hard conversations, it’s common for many people to become triggered by something their partner has said. Calm one moment, but the next they’re thrown into “fight or flight” mode, their brain sensing danger. Before they know it, the most primitive part of their brain is activated in an effort to help them survive. And this is when things can get ugly. Because it’s fairly impossible to speak calmly and rationally when your entire body is in survival mode.

    Luckily there are things we can do during difficult conversations to regulate our emotional responses and keep ourselves calm and level-headed.

    Pause and Breathe

    As soon as you start to feel triggered, pause and take a few slow, deep breaths. While deep breathing may seem like a cliche, it is actually a very powerful tool that helps us get out of “fight or flight” mode and into a more relaxed state. When we breathe slowly and deeply, it sends a signal to our brain that we are out of danger.

    Use Your Senses

    Another effective way to regulate your emotions in the moment is to focus your attention on a physical sensation. You could take a sip of water and really feel the sensation of drinking, or you could run your fingers along the seam of the sofa cushion.

    Listen Fully

    It is so common in a conversation to listen to form a response. But when we do this it is far easier to misunderstand what the other person is really saying. Be sure to listen to understand, not to form a response.

    Difficult conversations are inevitable when you are in any kind of relationship. But if you use these tips to regulate yourself, you can remain calm and communicate effectively with your partner.

    At our counseling center in Catonsville, MD, we specialize in helping teens, young adults, and adults overcome these challenges. We offer a variety of services, including:

    Individual therapy 

    Couples therapy

    Depression counseling in Catonsville

    Trauma counseling in Catonsville

    Highly sensitive person counseling in Catonsville

    Life transitions counseling in Catonsville

    Trauma-informed therapyCognitive-behavioral therapy 

    (CBT)Dialectical behavioral therapy 

    (DBT)Mindfulness-based stress reduction 

    (MBSR)Anxiety counseling in CatonsvilleAnd more!

    We believe that everyone deserves to live a happy, healthy, and fulfilling life. We are here to help you achieve your goals.

    If you are ready to take the next step, please contact us today for a free consultation. We look forward to helping you on your journey to healing and recovery.

    Here are some additional details about our services:

    Our therapists are licensed and experienced professionals who are committed to providing compassionate and effective care.We offer a variety of flexible scheduling options to meet your needs.We accept most major insurance plans.We offer a sliding scale for those who qualify.

    Don’t wait any longer. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation. We can help you start living your best life.


    How to Self-Regulate During a Difficult Conversation