You have probably heard of the 5-second rule that could save dropped food. Well, it turns out there is an 8-second rule beneficial for relationships.
Psychotherapist Mary Jo Rapini shares how this pause can improve a relationship.
She says allowing yourself an 8 to 10-second pause can provide a calming effect, permitting you to choose your words more wisely and preventing a dramatic outburst caused by something you said or did under overwhelming stress.
4 ways this benefits you
1. It Halts the flight/fight response, slowing your heart rate, respiration, and cortisol release.
Our flight/fight response rushes adrenaline throughout our body and disrupts our ability to make sound decisions. Pausing for several seconds can lower blood pressure, release tension, and prevent or minimise migraines. Stress suppresses our immune system, but an 8-second pause will help boost it.
2. It minimises arguments and conflict.
When stressed and overwhelmed, your tone of voice and choice of words are not always kind - especially to those you love most. When you give yourself permission to breathe and take your time responding to your partner, you place yourself in a better position to answer thoughtfully and minimise conflict.
3. It increases patience with your children and others during transitional times.
Some of a family's most stressful times of day include hurried mornings, homework, and bedtime. Arriving home from work, changing, and preparing dinner can incite feelings of irritability and frustration. When your child beckons you to help with homework during these busy times, your comments may appear angry and terse.
4. It enhances your self-image.
Pausing isn't always convenient, but it allows us to ground ourselves at the moment and slow our brains. It's a small act that significantly impacts our ability to remain in control of what we say and do. Life happens - but reacting with frustration, irritability, and urgency doesn't bring out the best in us, and we may regret what we said or did at the moment.