Emotions can actually be like a bad cold. Spend enough time with others, and you’re likely to catch whatever they have (or feel). It’s important to take a look at how this can impact your relationship.
What the Research Says
For decades researchers have been studying how our emotions rub off on others. What they’ve found is what a lot of people have already noticed; we tend to develop similar emotions to the people around us.
Our brains are hard wired to notice what other people are feeling. We have something called mirror neurons in our brains which makes us mimic what we see. For example, many people cry when they see someone else cry. Or perhaps you smile when someone else smiles at you. Spend time with happy people and you’re more likely to feel happy. Surround yourself with curmudgeons and you might find yourself complaining more often.
Choose Your Friends Wisely
Since we pick up on the emotions of those around us, it’s important to choose your friends wisely. You don’t get to choose your family, your boss or your co-workers but you can pick your friends. So, it makes sense to look for those who tend to be happy people.
Along with a positive attitude about life, surround yourself with people who also have positive attitudes about their marriage. A friend who talks positively about her marriage and her husband can help you to feel more positive about your own marriage.
On the other hand, a friend who constantly complains about how marriage drags him down and robs him from enjoying the kind of life he wants can also be contagious. If your friends focus on the negative and have a pessimistic attitude, it may rub off on you.
If you have friends who are bringing you down, remember one of the joys of being an adult is that you get to have choices. Limit the amount of time you spend with people who aren’t good for your mental health. And spend more time with the people that see the glass as being half full.
Examine How Your Emotions Impact Your Spouse
Take a look at your emotions and how they likely impact your spouse. For example, do you walk in the door as soon as you get home from work and complain about your day? If so, you may be starting the evening off on the wrong foot. It’s likely to bring you both down which doesn’t exactly set the scene for love and romance.
However, if you tend to be an upbeat, positive thinker with a good attitude it can help your spouse see things from a different angle. You don’t have to act fake around your spouse or force a pretend positive attitude, but try not to get stuck in a rut. If you frown, grumble and fret more than you praise, compliment and smile, you may have an unhealthy impact on your spouse.
Learn to take control of your emotions. You aren’t a victim when it comes to feelings. There are things you can do to take charge of your emotions. Change your thoughts and your behaviors and you’ll likely feel better. Force some positive thoughts, do something different and get active and it can change a bad mood into a much better state of mind.
Look at How Your Spouse’s Emotions Impact You
Be aware of how your spouse’s mood impacts you. If you’re blessed to be married to a positive, happy spouse, hopefully it helps your mood stay upbeat. However, everyone has bad days and it’s important that those bad days don’t bring you down too.
If you are married to a less happy-go-lucky person, take a look at how this may be impacting you. If your spouse is having a bad day, do you let it get you down? It can be easy sometimes for those negative emotions to be contagious but you don’t have to let them be.
When your spouse is in a bad mood, be proactive. You don’t have to go down with the ship. Take steps to take care of yourself and protect your mood. If your spouse isn’t feeling up to doing something fun, it doesn’t mean you have to stay home and commiserate together. Instead, take steps to protect your emotions and stay as positive as possible.
When you’re both in a good mood, you’re much more likely to feel happier about your relationship. Therefore, developing a positive outlook can make a big difference in your marriage. Take steps to manage your emotions.
Seek Professional Help
If you or your spouse is struggling to manage your emotions it is important to seek professional help. A counselor can assist you with learning tools to improve your mood which can be very helpful to your marriage. And if your spouse is depressed, consider seeking help for yourself to learn how to prevent yourself from becoming depressed as well.