How to Love

Reading Level: Leisurely
Most Everyone Enjoys Hearing Some Practical Ways to Make Your Relationship More Loving.

Quick, practical tips on how to love effectively is something we all appreciate. And when it comes to writing styles, Richard Carlson, PhD, has perfected the art of quick, practical tips to improve your life with his “Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff” series of books. His books have been bestsellers for years now. Any in that series are well worth reading. They are small, easy-reading books. He and his wife co-wrote “Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff in Love.” I’m putting some excerpts from the book below and the ISBN info at the end of this post. (1)

Here are 4 great tips on How to Love Effectively:

Wake Up and Think About 3 Things You Love About Him/Her – I’ve found that it’s nearly impossible to get too uptight or to sweat the small stuff with your partner when you have recently reminded yourself about why you love [him/her] so much. [The author describes seeing an irritating habit by his spouse on the way out the door in the morning.] What would have been my reaction to the unlocked door had I awakened and failed to think about such positive things? Or worse yet, what would have happened had I awakened and immediately began to fill my mind with my many responsibilities, to the point of putting myself in a stressful mind-set?…I would have become upset and irritated.

Make the Fresh Start Commitment – It doesn’t matter whether you’ve just met or whether you’ve been together for many years-it can be enormously helpful to make the “fresh-start commitment”…Making the fresh start commitment means making the decision to drop all concerns, regrets, and disappointments of you’re your past, as well as all of your expectations regarding the future. Today becomes more important than past mistakes or future plans. The good news is that you have the capacity to make the precious moments of today all that they can be…It’s easy to see why this is a wise decision that can put your relationship on solid ground, or give it new life.

Think Gentle Thoughts – I’ve learned that perhaps even more powerful than thinking positive thoughts is learning to think gently…The qualities of a gentle mind are inconsistent with annoyance-the two are mutually exclusive. When your mind is gentle, your responses to ordinary events-especially small stuff-will tend to be compassionate…Gentle thoughts are those that reinforce the beauty of life and the privilege of being here. They range from thoughts of love and peace to those of forgiveness and generosity. They often include a hint of gratitude.

Don’t Allow Passing Thoughts to Become Issues – As thoughts pass through your mind, essentially one of two things can happen. First, your thought can be a passing thought…For example, while driving, I might think to myself, “I wonder if ___ remembered to respond to our dinner invitation…If it seems relevant, I might make a note to call her later…If not, I’ll probably forget it altogether…The other possibility is that I hold that thought in my mind, as if to examine it. I give it my undivided attention and attach significance to it. While it’s there in my mind, I might think of examples where ___ was forgetful…Within a matter of seconds, I’m a little irritated…The problem is, if you don’t see how your own thinking contributes to the issues that frustrate you, then pretty soon your relationship will be filled up with various issues—and it’s always going to seem like it’s your partner’s fault.

 1. Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff in Love , Richard Carlson PhD ISBN#0-7868-8420-7


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