Stress and relationships are two things nearly everyone experiences at some time during his or her lifetime. In this brief article, we will discuss the different types of stress individuals might be exposed to, why stress and relationships often don’t mix and how people in relationships can prevent stress from coming between themselves and those who are most important to them.
The Different Types of Stress
Stress is defined as an internal or external force that lasts for an extended period of time and might affect the body’s physical or mental state. That said, everyone experiences stress differently. What causes anxiety and trepidation for one person might fail to do so in another. Moreover, there are numerous kinds of stress that can impact a person. These include:
This form of tension is often precipitated by personal relationships or difficult experiences an overly tense individual is dealing with such as a challenging marriage, problems with one’s children or parents, coping with a sick relative or close friend, work-related problems or financial difficulties.
Physical stressors can be defined as tension-inducing factors that cause physical or biological manifestations which might result in pain or disease. These type of stressors can include illness, environmental toxins or allergens that produce physical symptoms, systemic hormonal imbalances or physical trauma caused by an acute accident or physical abuse.
This type of stressor impacts a stricken individual’s mental or emotional state. For example, grief about the death of a loved one or the torment of executing a bad or life-changing decision could result in significant psychological issues.
Stress’s Impact Upon an Individual
Arguably, the most significant and direct impact stress can have upon the body of an impacted person is changes to hormonal balance. Unbalanced systemic concentrations of hormones have the potential to produce many undesirable health manifestations.
Individuals exposed to prolonged durations of elevated anxiety experience the increased secretion of what are scientifically referred to as stress hormones. These substances, the most common of which are epinephrine and cortisol, initially help the body react to and cope with alarming or tension-filled situations. That said, over time, stress hormones eventually have the potential to cause systemic inflammation.
Inflammation can result in the pain and discomfort associated with numerous physical injuries and might also weaken the immune system, damage the cells, tissues and organs and ultimately lead to a variety of illnesses like diabetes, heart disease, cancer and reproductive problems that could result in infertility. The mental and physical manifestations of stress might also lead to relationship problems.
The Correlation Between Stress and Relationships
Highly stressed individuals are likely to experience various physical or emotional symptoms. Furthermore, high levels of stress might also cause people to take frustrations out on close relations, especially spouses or significant others. Stress could damage relationships by causing problems like: diminished libido, sexual performance problems, wild mood fluctuations and an overall feeling of tension and apprehension. Should these problems persist, the relationships shared by the affected individuals might eventually be damaged or ended.
One way to prevent stress from harming relationships is to prevent the condition from exercising a stranglehold over an individual’s life and feelings. It may be impossible to avoid all stressors at all times. However, there are certain tension-breaking activities you can engage in that might reduce the incidence and severity of stress.
Relaxation techniques like yoga, meditation and deep breathing exercises can be particularly soothing. Partaking in some form of physical activity like running, walking or playing a sport has also been shown to help alleviate stress and promote good health. Establishing a group of supportive people to turn to when you need to vent frustrations, laugh and enjoy the lighter side of life can be extremely important. Simply listening to music or partaking in a hobby such as reading or gardening, avoiding detrimental activities like excessive consumption of alcohol or drug use and thinking of all the positive events and associations in one’s life can also be effective stress reducers.
Taking a natural herbal supplement that contains relaxing ingredients like lavender or herbs known as adaptogens can also help your body to mitigate the effects of stress.
Helping One’s Partner Cope With Stress
While engaging in stress-busting activities might provide a productive outlet for releasing tension, sometimes the tension-filled individual’s partner might also play a critical role in helping their significant other overcome their issues and maintain a healthy and optimal relationship. Relationship experts and life coaches suggest that there are several actions a stressed person’s partner can take including:
Try to empathize with what the other person is going through and try to show patience and understanding.
Lend an Ear
A stressed person’s partner can help prevent relationship struggles by being willing to listen and always leave the lines of communication open.
Look Out for Stress-Related Symptoms
When one’s spouse or significant other is experiencing stress-related symptoms, the other partner should encourage the affected individual to find a productive outlet for their tension or arrange activities or suggest they partake in stress-reducing activities.
Realize That Stress is Part of Life
While stress is a normal part of life, periods of excessive tension will eventually pass and it is important to always bear that fact in mind.