Mood and Conflict Management
In the season of FALL, most things are dropping. Leaves are dropping, the temperature is dropping, the hours of daylight are dropping, and for many thousands of people so is there seretonin levels within their brain chemistry. Seasonal affect disorder affects millions of people in the northern hemisphere. General mood levels fall into more depressive areas, and where there is increased depressiveness there is usually challenges.
Within most families conflict management is a challenge. Within families where one or more are experiencing reduced mood levels, conflict resolution also usually falls. When something falls usually something also rises. It is the push and pull of nature and even our health. In systemic responses, when our mood lowers we unconsciously look for something to stimulate and fortify us. For some it will increase in addictive behaviour. Food, alcohol, sex, work, gambling and even coffee may all increase through this season. However unresolved conflict will also increase.
Good conflict resolution requires the management of emotions. When seretonin levels decrease emotions are more intense. Thinking and concentration is impaired. When emotions are flooding usually there is significant damage. Some good suggestions for proactive conflict management is to take a temperature of ones mood before jumping into the water of conflict. Ask your partner or teen, if this is a good time to talk. This simple question can go a long way to helping increase the success of conflict resolution, and in turn raise the mood of individuals and increase the sunshine of attitude within the home.
Kim Christink , M. Div., D. Min.
Bayridge Family Center Director – Individual, Family & Marriage Therapy