Healthy Connections

Ending destructive life patterns

10 Tips to De-stress Your Relationships

Simple ways to reduce anxiety and better your relationship

Relationships often face challenges. These challenges can bring about feelings of stress and anxiety that if not properly managed can have serious health risks. Below are 10 tips to help de-stress your relationship:

  1. Commit to striving for a healthy relationship no matter what difficulties may arise. Eliminate the exits and obstacles to healing and intimacy. Quitting is not an option.
  2. Be respectful even when you are not feeling respected. Disrespect does long term harm to any relationship. There is no excuse for bad behavior.
  3. Take care of yourself. You cannot give what you don’t have. Develop a small but powerful support system. Find fun, passion and inspiration in something outside of the strained relationship. Don’t expect one person to be that for you.
  4. Make regular emotional deposits. Validate, encourage, stroke, and appreciate your loved ones at a rate of 5 positives to every negative comment or request.
  5. Connect daily with eye contact, attention, and affection and create special opportunities for deeper connection such game night, laughter, walks, vacations, or spending individual time.
  6. Accept others AS IS and overlook weaknesses. During stressful times relationships may be strained and critical. Shift your focus away from flaws and toward the qualities you like and appreciate. Loving is a choice and it will return whenever you consciously look for the good things in the people you care about.
  7. Maintain healthy boundaries to protect your family and relationships from common invaders such as jobs, too much activity, intrusive family members or friends, telephone, computer, TV etc.
  8. Plan for intimate encounters. Don’t wait for it to just happen. Deepening relationships requires planning and effort. Take responsibility for creating the environment as well as the mental and emotional state that will improve your connection.
  9. Conserve energy. Monitor your energy the way you do money. There is a limited supply and you must decide how to spend it. Without boundaries energy is wasted on less important things and people who are not a priority. If you value your relationships, you must save energy for yourself and your loved ones every day.
  10. Live your truth. Have a mission statement for your life and your family and re-evaluate it yearly. Ask yourselves “Is this the life we want to be living?” If it isn’t, make a plan for gradual change in any area that needs it. Seek help when you feel stuck.

Ann Smith is the Executive Director of Breakthrough at Caron. Leave a comment here or connect with her on Twitter, @CaronBT or Facebook.

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Ann Smith is the author of the books Grandchildren of Alcoholics and Overcoming Perfectionism.

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