The TEAM Formula Could Be The Key To Transforming Your Relationship

Romance is wonderfully blissful, but once the honeymoon period fades and a relationship becomes long-term, things become a little more real. You've probably heard a thousand times that relationships take work, but it's true. Especially if you and your partner have hectic schedules, work long hours, or share childcare responsibilities. Once the kids have been put to bed, you finally make it home from work, or you've finished cleaning up the kitchen, sit down with your partner and try the T.E.A.M. formula for strengthening your relationship, per 91.3 WCSG.

The best thing about the T.E.A.M. method is that it only takes 10 minutes to complete, and you're likely to be surprised by how close you'll feel to your partner after just a few minutes. Like its acronym namesake, the formula is designed to help you and your partner create a foundation of being teammates in your relationship, especially when life becomes chaotic and you don't have as much time to connect with one another as you had at the beginning of your relationship. The Heart Connection Center explains that brief moments and small actions can strengthen relationships in big ways, therefore making the 10-minute investment in the T.E.A.M. method even more appealing if you're looking for a way to become closer to your partner or reconnect in the midst of daily life. Simple words and light physical touch can go a long way. Here's how you can practice the T.E.A.M. method and use it to transform your relationship.

T is for Touch

Schedule time each evening or at any point of the day when you and your partner can sit down and be present. You want to be consistent about the time you spend together each day. In this sense, the letter T in the T.E.A.M. may serve a double purpose in representing regular time spent together as well as its representation of touch (via 91.3 WCSG). When you and your partner sit down each day, make an effort to establish physical touch of some kind, starting with holding hands if you aren't quite sure where to begin. If you sit and hold hands for 10 minutes each day, you'll find your relationship growing closer almost immediately due to the oxytocin released by our brains when we hug, cuddle, or hold hands with another person, according to Intermountain Healthcare. Having regular and consistent physical touch with another person can have positive effects on your health, too. Physical touch can increase your immune system, decrease stress, and boost your mood. As you and your partner begin to feel the physical effects of physical touch, you'll also begin to feel emotionally closer to one another. 

There are endless benefits to positive physical touch, with non-sexual physical touch being just as powerful as intimate moments in creating a connection with your partner, per Dignity Health. The hormones released by the brain during physical touch can increase generosity and gratitude as well, which matches well with other elements of the T.E.A.M. formula. 

E is for Education

The letter E in the T.E.A.M. formula stands for education (per 91.3 WCSG), which is literal in its interpretation. During the 10 minutes you spend with your partner each day, and while holding hands, educate each other about something you've recently learned. It could be a favorite fact of yours or a thought you've recently had that has inspired you to dig deeper into a topic. For instance, you might learn a new fact at work or take part in a project with new technology, so when you sit with your partner later that day, you'll be able to share the new information and experiences you had that day. You might choose to share a fact about one of your hobbies or interests or a recent internet search that led you to interesting new revelations. 

As you share information with your partner and educate one another about something new you've learned, you'll establish the practice of having open-ended conversations and exploring topics that aren't related to potential frustrations experienced throughout the day. This is an opportunity to practice active listening, the act of being fully present with your body and mind while listening to your partner. Holding hands or having your arms wrapped around one another for the 10 minutes will connect you physically to one another, and as you listen to your partner and allow them to speak uninterrupted, you may learn something about your partner that you didn't know before.

A is for Appreciation

After you've shared your favorite fact, new information, or an interest of yours with your partner, and you've listened to what they shared with you for the education portion of the T.E.A.M. formula, the next step is to practice A for appreciation, according to 91.3 WCSG. As you continue to hold hands or maintain some form of physical touch during the 10 minutes of the T.E.A.M. method, tell your partner something that you appreciate about them. Try not to repeat the same sentiments on a regular basis and instead view this as a positive challenge to notice new things that you love and admire about your partner. 

For example, Self recommends thanking your partner for the things they do for you, acknowledging the efforts they make towards creating a strong relationship and household, and how they show up for you. Outside of the T.E.A.M. practice, you might consider writing in a daily gratitude journal to express your appreciation with the help of prompts that will encourage you to think about gratitude in new ways. Applying the effectiveness of gratitude journaling to a daily practice of the T.E.A.M. method, you're certain to see positive effects within yourself and your relationship. You may even see positive effects on your parenting efforts, including the gift of increased patience. Encourage your partner to keep a gratitude journal as well, or even propose that you write in your gratitude journals together before or after you practice the 10-minute T.E.A.M. formula.

M is for Metrics

The final element of the T.E.A.M. formula is the last letter, wherein M stands for metrics, as per 91.3 WCSG. This might sound mathematical or scientific at face value, and if you aren't a numbers-prone person, it may be a bit terrifying. Don't panic though. The meaning of metrics is more fluid and interpersonal than crunching numbers. In the case of the T.E.A.M. method, the final step in the 10-minute segment is to allow each person to express how they're feeling about the relationship, the strength of their bond, and how they feel about the progress made from practicing the T.E.A.M. method. This is also a time when you might feel comfortable bringing up obstacles you and your partner need to overcome, but be certain to let your partner know that you want to discuss something that might cause elevated tension beforehand, so they aren't surprised with an intense conversation following a positive, peaceful experience with the first three segments of the T.E.A.M. formula. If you spring a serious or stressful conversation on your partner without warning, they may go on the defensive and, therefore, won't be able to engage in effective communication

As you continue practicing the T.E.A.M. method, remind one another that you are a team. Particularly for the metrics portion of the formula, reassure and reaffirm each other that you're a team that will tackle obstacles together rather than instantly becoming adversaries the moment the slightest sign of conflict arises.