michaeldawsonlpc@gmail.com

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So far michaeldawsonlpc@gmail.com has created 158 blog entries.

Taking personal responsibility for your thoughts and behaviors

2020-08-12T18:41:31+00:00Heart, Personal Responsibility|

As we learned last week, the first thing couples should do when they’re having issues in their relationship is to start with the heart. After all, the heart is the center of everything we do, feel, think, and desire — it should be honored and treasured. The next logical step then is to take personal responsibility for our thoughts and behaviors.   Taking personal responsibility might sound obvious on paper, but how often have you been in a heated argument and focused all your energy, anger, and emotions on what your spouse is doing or not doing? The answer is all the time!   “She started it!”  “I can’t believe [...]

Why couples should always start with the heart

2020-08-12T17:52:18+00:00Communication, Heart, Uncategorized|

Marriage is a gift from God. But no one said it was easy, even for those of us who think we have it all figured out. You know the feeling — one minute, everything is hunky-dory, and a shining example of a safe and connected marriage and the next, one or both of you is upset. There can be some really complicated “stuff” that got you to this point, and what makes matters worse is that even if you are both committed to working through it, you aren’t always sure where to start.  Most often we don't start with the heart. Here’s a tip from yours truly: couples should always [...]

Emotional Intelligence: Emotional Understanding vs. Problem-Solving

2020-07-30T01:08:36+00:00Conflict, Emotion|

Everyone wants to be better at problem-solving. After all, it’s what helps drive effective communication — at work, with friends, and as couples. Many couples I see in my practice definitely want to problem solve. And yes, they do need solutions for their issues and problems; we all want those things in our lives.   While I do want to help them with problems, I’m really trying to teach people how to improve their emotional understanding.   This might surprise you, but problem-solving is the last thing I do. Starting with problem-solving is a waste of time!   Starting anywhere except attending to emotions will derail you most of the time [...]

Emotional Intelligence: Are you stressing out you and your spouse?

2020-07-20T19:18:52+00:00Emotion, Stress|

Let’s say a problem has come up in your marriage. It could be anything — your spouse isn’t 100% truthful about something, or you’re beginning to feel like your spouse doesn’t love you anymore. Regardless of how big or small the issue, it’s getting to the point where you’re withdrawing emotionally. And naturally, it’s stressing out you and your spouse. Do you keep your mouth shut? Or do you finally say something?  Stressing out you and your spouse! Most of us would like to believe we’d say something. After all, it’s the only way to get all our feelings and emotions on the table to see if the situation is [...]

Would you ROCK an emotional intelligence pop quiz?

2020-07-16T00:28:37+00:00Communication, Emotion|

If you ask any woman how well she thinks she’d do on an emotional intelligence pop quiz, she’d probably say, “Ha! I imagine I’d score somewhere near the top.” Ask her husband the same thing, and he’d likely say, “Contrary to popular belief, guys are more emotionally intelligent than you think. And that includes me.” Great! So let’s find out! Oh, wait — you mean there’s a quiz for that? Yes! There’s actually several. We published an emotional intelligence pop quiz a few years ago on our blog and included it again in this post. If you’ve taken it before, let’s see what’s changed. If this is your first time, [...]

Emotional intelligence and why we need more in our marriage

2020-07-08T00:34:25+00:00Emotion|

Raise your hand if you did a double-take when you heard the term emotional intelligence for the first time. I mean, who can be emotional and intelligent at the same time, especially when you consider emotions travel at warp speed? One minute, everything is fine between you and your spouse, and the next, she’s crying, you’re yelling, and neither of you has a clue what just happened, whose fault it is, or the wherewithal to understand where each other is coming from. While emotional intelligence sounds foreign, the importance of it is more obvious than you think. Emotional intelligence is the ability to make your emotions work for you rather [...]

Focusing on the here and now pleasantness around us

2020-06-22T00:13:37+00:00Focus, happiness|

It isn’t necessarily easy to find the good in anything that’s going on in our world right now. News feeds are filled with loss and unrest because of the coronavirus, racial injustices, lost lives, and the political circus from all sides that naturally follows. And that’s just for starters. The easy answer that most people give — including Susan and me — is to take a deep breath and do your best to focus on the here and now pleasantness around us all.   But how, Mike and Susan?! Is this possible? Yes, it absolutely is. And maybe a little easier at this time as we focus on the freedoms [...]

We all need a little more gratitude in our life

2020-06-21T23:28:18+00:00Attitude, Perspective|

Did you know that most research shows that we have about three times as many positive experiences in our lives than negative ones? It seems difficult to imagine, especially with everything that’s going on right now with COVID-19 and other global issues that drag us down. But it’s true. And yet, we tend to always focus on the negative. You do it. I do it. We all do it. But why? Many would say it’s because we have not created a culture of appreciation and gratitude in our life. Instead of focusing on all the bad things, we should be scanning our world for what is going good and make [...]

Got Anxiety? Let’s All Just Take A Nice Deep Breath

2020-06-18T04:56:12+00:00Control, Stress|

"Breathe. Just Breathe." Those were the words of Master Jedi Luke Skywalker as he trained Rey in Star Wars: The Last Jedi. And, naturally, Rey made it look so easy, right? In mere seconds, Rey reached out and connected with The Force in ways she never imagined — by merely breathing, the anxiety disappeared. Now, you may be thinking, "Well, that's Hollywood for ya!" True. But in real life, Luke's message to take a nice deep breath can just as easily help us relax and, like Rey, see the bigger picture. So why don't we do it enough? Well, you can point to many culprits. Perhaps the biggest is anxiety. [...]

We’ve All Experienced Loss in the Last 3 Months. But What Have We Gained?

2020-06-15T21:33:52+00:00Expectations, Focus|

When the COVID-19 warnings ramped up in early March, most of us were leery about what was going on but, for the most part, remained optimistic that it was nothing more than a temporary blip on the “that’s life-o-meter.” As time went by, though, things got serious. People got sick, everyday freedoms were limited or lost, businesses closed, and everyone was asked to stay home. If you were like us, you couldn’t even watch TV without seeing more bad news. As a result, you probably noticed overwhelming and erratic emotions swimming around in your head. One day, you’re hopeful about the future. And the next, you’re stressed to the max. [...]

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