Stressful situations and pivotal life events can genuinely test our relationships. It is inevitable, but what matters most is how we handle them. From family and health to work and finances, stress can come in numerous forms. But there is always a way to overcome stress. As a professional psychologist, I have put together six tips that can help you deal with stress while continuing to build a robust and long-lasting romantic relationship.
1 - Be Respectful And Empathetic With Your Partner's Feelings
When your lover is stressed, it is vital to try to understand why they are feeling this way. The last thing you should do is get defensive. Focus on the tone of your communication. The sound of your voice can be instantly identified as negative or positive, and it can set the attitude in each conversation. Be mindful when your lover is telling you how they are feeling. Listen attentively and respond with empathy.
2 - Face Financial Problems Together
Money problems are among the principal causes of relationship stress. If financial anxiety and money worries such as debt, job loss, or similar issues are affecting your life as a couple, you need to be open about it and find a solution together.
3 - Take Time To Show Affection
Showing affection can make your lover feel special, cared for, and loved, especially when they need it the most. Tell them how much they mean to you and why. Give them a hug when life demands and work are burning them out. Touching, holding hands, and hugging increases oxytocin levels, which has a calming effect, countering the stress hormone, cortisol. A warm hug can really brighten up their day and provide the relief they are looking for. You may even decide to take it into the bedroom, sex can not only bring you both closer together, but it has also been found to be a great de-stressor.
4 - Give Yourself Some Time Out To Relax
Due to our chaotic work schedules, relaxing is frequently overlooked. Having 'me time' is an excellent way to reduce stress, which can impact positively on your relationship. 'Me time' implies doing things that make you feel happy and calm. Things like going for a walk, reading a new book, listening to your favorite music, having a bath, or practicing meditation are all effective relaxation techniques.
5 - Keep Politics Out Of Your Relationship
Make sure to meet each other's needs in love and altruism. Keep politics and ideologies out of the bedroom. Create your own value system based on love, generosity, giving, and selflessness. Your partner is not your enemy, s/he's your lover, your friend. Keep it that way.
6 - Seek Professional Help
Remember to seek support and help when you most need it. Keep in mind that it's okay to ask for professional help. If you feel like you're struggling to manage your stress levels, which is affecting your relationship, then reach out to a licensed psychologist like me. You can contact me via my website https://www.sydneypsychologist.org/.
Signs And Symptoms Of Stress
The signs and symptoms of stress include:
Anxiety or feeling always worried
Loss of sex drive
Feelings of nausea or dizziness
Diarrhea and constipation
Aches and pains, particularly muscle tension
Using alcohol, tobacco or illegal drugs to relax
Changes in your sleeping habits
Eating more or less than usual
Irritability or having a short temper
Mood swings or changes in your mood
Feelings of being overwhelmed
The Bottom Line
Stress is a common experience for most of us. However, when it's affecting your relationship, wellbeing, health, and social life, it's essential to tackle it as soon as possible.
About The Author
Emi Golding is a professional psychologist and coach born in Sydney, Australia. She has helped lots of people facing stress issues, including lawyers on the brink of burnout, loving mums that needed a nurturing ear themselves, corporate CEOs, artists, and fierce SAS commandos at the end of their psychological rope.