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

Once again, current research has shown how people in happy committed relationships are healthier and live longer than people who aren’t in these types of relationships. Why? Because these couples have the emotional support of each other when the you-know-what hits the fan. Having your partner’s support takes a lot of the sting out of a stressful situation while having the added benefit of bringing you emotionally closer to each other.

Stress is a natural part of our lives and marriages/relationships. The month of June however, seems to bring many extra stressors upon us– even though these stressors are wrapped around happy events such as weddings, graduations, school ceremonies, etc. It is really important that we don’t allow external stressors to negatively impact our marriage and ourselves. Research shows how people in happy committed relationships experience life stressors differently – mainly because they have the support of each other to alleviate the stress, rather than add to it.

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 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 has stress in their 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”.


Rekindle Romance and Happiness in Your Relationship,

Dr. Patty Ann

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