ERP 075: How To Combat The Damage Of Stress In Your Relationship – Part Two

By Posted in - Podcast & Relationships August 19th, 2016 0 Comments

Before listening to this episode, check out ERP 074: How To Combat The Damage Of Stress In Your Relationship – Part One.

“Up to 98 percent of American adults report feeling some form of stress on a regular basis.” writes Laura Newcomer in “Is Stress Hurting Your Relationship?”

In part one to the podcast topic, I layout for you:

  • What is stress?
  • Damage of stress.
  • Stress inventory.
  • Stress curve.
  • Signs and symptoms of stress.
  • I also give you the first two ways to combat stress in your relationship.

6 Ways To Combat Stress In Your Relationship

1. Know Your Stress Cues (or warning signs)

See part one for a description on the first two ways to combat stress in your relationship. Be sure and listen to the podcast episode for stories, examples, and more suggestions.

2. Hold The Bigger Picture in Mind

3. Learn to reset & refuel (individually & As a couple)

  • Olympic athletes have to actively manage their stress levels, so that they can be in their peak performance zone.
  • You want to know what works for you.
  • Exercise.
  • Social support.
  • Deep breathing.
  • Mindfulness mediation.
  • Rest & sleep.

“Rest is not idleness, and to lie sometimes on the grass under the trees on a summer’s day, listening to the murmur of water, or watching the clouds float across the sky, is by no means a waste of time.” – John Lubbock

  • Nature.
  • Getting creative.
  • Listening to music.
  • Positive or balanced thinking.
  • Quiet time.
  • Journal.

“The take-away for couples is simple — each individual needs to learn to deal with stress in positive ways outside of the relationship (through activities to minimize the buildup of stress in the first place, regular exercise, and other stress-relief activities). No matter how well you function in everyday life, all the skills in the world may go to hell in a hand-basket when stressed out.” by John M. Grohol, Psy.D

4. Have a stress protocol

  • Be on the same team.
  • Develop a plan for when life gets stressful.
  • Scale back, say no, take on less, do less. Keep things simple.
  • Give yourself space to reevaluate and renegotiate.
  • List ideas for each area in your stress protocol:
  • Emotionally: Example: “It seems like you might be under a lot of stress. What can I do that will help you feel that I got your back?
  • Physically: Example: “I need a little more sleep.” “I know you like a little more quiet time.”
  • Mentally: Offer help reframing and keeping things perspective. Example: “Can I help point out things you may be overlooking about the situation? Can I remind you of some of your strengths here?”
  • Relationally: Example: “I know we are both stressed. Can we talk about our expectations for this coming week?”

5. Encourage health

  • Have your partner’s back.
  • Try to support your partner way of dealing with stress (even if it is different from your way of dealing with stress).
  • Use your stress protocol to bring your stress levels down and initiate de-stress strategies with your partner.
  • Offer care, support, and understanding to yourself and your partner.

6. Prioritize your connection

  • Prioritize time with partner.
  • Find ways to rejuvenate and nurture each other (however small).
  • Trade foot massages or neck massages.
  • Go for a nice walk together.
  • Go soak in a hot tub together.
  • Laugh together.
  • Play together.
  • Be creative. Do something different.
  • Think about the long-term result. What is the long-term cost of not connecting in a years time? What is the long-term benefit of connecting in a years time?

“The time to relax is when you don’t have time for it.” ~ Sydney J. Harris



Click on this link to access the transcript for this episode: ERP 075: How To Combat The Damage Of Stress In Your Relationship Part II [TRANSCRIPT]

If you have a topic you would like me to discuss or a situation you would like me to speak to, please contact me by clicking on the “Ask Dr. Jessica Higgins” button here.

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Dr. Jessica Higgins ~ Relationship and Transformational Coaching