Most of us feel stress from time to time and many people feel chronic stress much of the time. As many of us are well aware, stress can greatly impact your body, mind and overall life. And stress from a relationship, can really throw your life into a tailspin. Relationship stress can be long-term and chronic or can be a sudden jolt that rocks your world. The chronic form often is the result of long-term poor treatment, high conflict, addiction or distancing and lack of warmth or affection. Sudden jolt stress often is the result of an affair, a sudden change such as loss of a job, a health crisis, etc. Regardless of what the source of your relationship stress is, the strategies for managing it are the same.
Below are several tips on how to handle high levels of stress resulting from your relationship:
1. Pause and take a step back. The first thing you want to do is to simply pause and don’t do anything. Put some space between you and the problem, your feelings and your reactions to the problem. Slow yourself down and breathe. Take a few slow, deep breaths and calm your heart rate down before making any decisions or reacting in any way.
2. Don’t go into all-or-nothing/black-or-white thinking. Keep your thoughts on the present and avoid thinking about how this incident or this relationship is going to play out or impact you in the future. The truth is you don’t know. Simply stay focused on today, this issue and this moment in time. If it is a chronic issue, stay focused on the issue that is creating the stress/problem and don’t expand it beyond the relationship or issue.