3 Simple Ways to De-Stress Your Relationship and Your Life

Current research shows that people in happy committed relationships are healthier and live longer than people who are in unhappy relationships. Why? The emotional support couples lend to each other when the you-know-what hits the fan helps you overcome the many difficult obstacles life throws in your path. Having your partner’s support takes a lot of the sting out of a stressful situation – while simultaneously bringing you emotionally closer together.

Since stress is a natural part of our lives and our marriages/relationships, it is critical we learn how to de-stress.

Following are 3 simple ways to de-stress your marriage/relationships and life.

  1. Communicate – tell your partner that you are feeling stressed and/or overwhelmed – and let them know where the source of your stress is coming from. Is it work?, the kids?, You?, (yes, you read that correctly – you may be the source of your partner’s stress), financial worries?, health issues?, etc. Many times we assume our partner knows when we are stressed – don’t assume this – they may just think you are tired or in a bad mood.

    Just communicating and talking about the stress (and stressors) in your life will have a way of de-stressing you. Really, it’s true. Having someone listen to you and knowing you are not alone during stressful moments will not only make the stress in your life feel less burdensome, it will also bring you emotionally closer to your partner. Sharing stressful times with your partner strengthens the emotional bond and connection you feel with each other. Therefore, do not go it alone. Communicate with your partner the stress you are feeling and gain their invaluable emotional support.

  2. How we PERCEIVE stress impacts how we HANDLE it. Remember, everybody experiences stress in his or her lives – every single person. It is totally unrealistic (and quite insane) to think we can eliminate it from our lives; but we can control how it affects us. If we do not exert some control over the stress in our lives – the stress will control us. This is truly the kiss of death for our sanity.

    All stressors do not have equal weight and equal value. For example, the stress related to a minor fender bender is no way near equal to the stress related to losing your job. You might laugh at this point and think it is obvious but many people react to all stressors as if they are the same – they are not! So keep your stressors in perspective of your entire life. Remember all the things you have to be grateful and thankful for. If you are alive – and healthy – no one stressor should be perceived as the end of the world!

  3. Breathe deeply and be aware of what you are feeling. You read that correctly. When we become stressed, we tend to hold our breath. This creates an unhealthy physiological reaction to stress and jams up all our emotional feelings and responses. (I could explain the brain’s biochemical reaction to stress for you but it will only put you to sleep.)

    When feeling stressed, take a moment and breathe deeply and controllably. This will help center you and get you in touch with what you are feeling; otherwise you will just feel totally overwhelmed. Feeling overwhelmed negatively impacts your ability to recognize and understand your emotions, leaving you virtually paralyzed to effectively deal with your stressful situation. Yoga and meditation are two great ways to learn proper breathing – which will help you center your mind and body and get “grounded”.

Since no relationship can rid itself of all stress, use stress as an opportunity to bring you closer together, instead of tearing yourselves apart.


Rekindle Romance and Happiness in Your Relationship,

Dr. Patty Ann


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