What is intimacy emotional? What is intimacy? Can it be built?
Even if you are not clear about the cognitive side of emotional intimacy, you can practice some exercises which will help you discover what it feels like, based on the work of some folks like Robert Epstein,Ph.D., John Gottman,Ph.D, and Helen Fisher,Ph.D.
Intimacy emotional is actually accompanied by a hormone called oxytocin, and according to Professor Fisher, it can be increased non-verbally by touch, holding hands, sleeping curled up together, massage, ect. and then folks can talk.
Communication skills can be increased, especially for guys, by doing the exercises that John and Julie Scwartze-Gottman have put together for us in their workshop called The Art and Science of Love.
Reflective listening is a skill with discreet steps, and the Gottman's have a module that talks about what to do when flooded with stress hormones.
I have used that workshop with couples referred for domestic violence and watched folks who are quite contentious move into fond memories when they do the very first exercise in the workshop, called Discovering Your Partner's Love Map.
Robert Epstein,Ph.D., has written some interesting work recently about how folks in arranged marriages grow emotional intimacy when they may have met only once prior to their marriage ceremony. In India, arranged marriages are successful 95% of the time, meaning the couple stay together, (even though divorce is an option) and grow in happiness, compared to our 50% success rate in the U.S.
Epstein suggests that the Indian success rate is the result of the couple working on intimacy using exercises like soul gazing, breathing synchronization, and I want to suggest an interesting tool that I have used, Heartmath, or heart rate variability biofeedback with couples.
It is possible using the computerized heart rate variability biofeedback program for couples to see a version of the heart beat of their relationship emerge on a their computer screens, and they get a chance to see how dynamic it is, and how dependent it is on the thinking and breathing that folks exhibit.
In other words, the relationship heart beat can change heart beat by heart beat, thought by thought. The best thoughts for emotional intimacy? The attitude is gratitude.
Helen Fisher,Ph.D. says that we should not even worry about emotional intimacy until we have narrowed our search to a compatible personality type.
Professor Fisher has been studying love in all its many splendored versions, including romantic love, what we usually call infatuation, for 30 years, and her research indicates to her that we humans fall into four broad personality types, each
associated with a different hormone, and some types work better with other types, and Professor Fisher says that we should take the free personality quiz at Chemistry.com to begin the process of finding folks to have emotional intimacy with.
Very early in my personal growth experience, a wise person taught me to use the phrase "gratitude is the attitude" when I was resentful or afraid and that phrase has helped me feel better tens of thousands of times.
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