Romantic relationships can be a common source of stress. Even if they’re not, external stressors have a way of negatively impacting even the most solid relationships to shake things up.
Good relationships are a critical component of a healthy and happy life. They provide much-needed support through tough times, they uplift us, and they fulfill us in a deep way that nothing else can. Challenging relationships, however, can negatively impact our health and make everything feel much more difficult.
In this post, you’ll learn how to let go of stress in your most important relationships so you and those you care about can thrive in life and in relationships with others.
Relationships Require Attention
A common mistake people make when it comes to relationships is thinking that they’re a “set it and forget it” kind of thing. Once the relationship is solidified through a commitment, like marriage, they think it’s smooth sailing from there and that the relationship needs no further work, energy, or intention to maintain.
Not the case!
A relationship is like a garden; it needs tending and care in order to thrive. As humans, we’re always growing and evolving. We’re constantly dealing with new things, working through old things, and have our own unique set of dreams and fears.
If the relationship isn’t tended to in this state of constant evolution, there’s bound to be struggle as individuals seek to continue relating and understanding each other. In many relationships, stress is born out of the idea that everything should be fine because it’s been fine before.
Instead of stressing over what isn’t, seek to understand and accept what is: that people grow and change. The best relationships are ones where you understand this and seek to support each other in individual and unified growth.
Relationships Require An Understanding of One’s Self
When you better understand yourself, you know what you bring to the table in relationships. By understanding your stressors, challenges, and trauma, you can better communicate them and see where they show up in the way you respond and react to someone else. You can also help the other person better understand and support you through your challenges and vice versa.
Alternatively, when you’re confident in yourself and know what you want and need, you’ll be better equipped to communicate that and experience more satisfaction out of your relationships. Oftentimes, arguments between partners occur because of differences or feelings of neglect. But if those differences and desires can be properly communicated and resolved, these issues can get addressed before they become serious problems leading to long-term stress and resentment.
Relationships Can Be A Refuge from Outside Stressors
Too often, we may unknowingly bring stress home and take it out on our partner when, really, they’ve got nothing to do with it. For example, if you had a rough day at work, the kids were particularly challenging, or you received bad news, it might be easy to take jabs at your partner and react negatively to things that do not warrant that type of response.
Instead of using our partners as way to attempt to offload our stress—which does nothing to improve the relationship or our stress—we can view our partner as a safe haven, a refuge, a place to relax and unwind. That way, we can let go of stress and lean on our partner as a safe place to rest from the stressors of life.
Instead of harboring stress and bringing it into our most important relatinoships, its important to find ways to let go of that stress where it starts: within ourselves.
Take steps to reduce your stress, and find an easy way to communicate your stress with your partner. Sometimes, simply saying aloud to your partner, “I’m feeling overwhelmed,” or “I’ve had a stressful day,” can diffuse a situation before it starts and communicate with your partner that you’re in a heightened state. By communicating how you feel, you get it out of your mind and into the open and gives your partner the opportunity to offer support. This strengthens your relationship.
Here are some easy ways to reduce stress before you bring it home:
- Check in with yourself and see where the stress comes from. Was it simply because you were cut off on the road as you were heading home, or is it something deeper?
- Breathe. Take three deep belly breaths. See how you feel. Take three more. Stress elevates our heart rate and shortens our breath. By changing our physiological response we can communicate relaxation to the mind.
- Visualize. Sometimes when things are tough, we just need a little vacation. Take five minutes to visualize your favorite place in detail. Tap into the feeling of being there, then hold it.
- Release control. You can’t control everything and everyone, so stop trying. Acknowledge your feelings as they pass like clouds in the sky, and accept the things you cannot change. The only thing you can control is your response to things.
Here are a few ways to reduce stress in your relationship:
- Hug more! Hugs are an amazing way to realign and get present with your partner. Hug for at least 30 seconds at the end of the day and see how you feel.
- Check in often. It’s easy to get caught up in the cycle of everyday life things. Make it a habit to check in with your partner regularly to share feelings, concerns, stressors, whatever.
- Listen. Be present with your partner and truly listen. Put phones away, make eye contact, and listen first before offering solutions.
- Ask what you can do. Perhaps you’ve heard the phrase, “Happy wife, happy life!” This goes both ways. When you ask how you can help make your partner’s day smoother, you make them happy, which will, in turn, make them want to make you happy!
- Stay connected. Don’t let stress cause you to pull away from your partner. Instead, stay connected, talk about what you’re going through, and see through it—together.
If you’d like to learn more ways to experience Less Stress Now, check out my course here .