THE Relationship Blog
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We are writing about stress this week. Why? BECAUSE WE ARE FEELING A LOT OF IT. Don’t be surprised if we keep hopping into capital letters. This is just the way things are right now. We are looking at June as being a capital letter kind of month.
Change is a stressor. Family is a stressor. Money is a stressor. So spending money to change around your family is a huge stressor. In our case, our daughter is going to college. This is our oldest child, our baby-grown up. She is going away to college. In case you did not know this, college is not free. What a surprise. So where there were five in the house, there will only be four. (Originally, I wrote three. Apparently the stress is making me get rid of someone else, too.)
To compound the stress, we are moving. That is the way we deal with the little bumps in life’s road; we go off-roading. We find as many big bumps as possible. It really is not that bad. One of the ways that you can tell we are under stress is that we catastrophize the situation. We can only see the big steamroll of life coming at us and not the step-to-the-side-because-it-is-moving-really-slow solution.
A side note: thanks to America’s Moving Services, we are feeling a lot less stress about moving. They even said that they would give our readers a discount. Just mention CoupleDumb.
Now that we have made it abundantly clear that we are feeling all kinds of stress, how do we cope? This is the spot where all of that nasty talk about emotions comes in handy. People who are emotionally aware are better able to cope with stress. Studies show that stress and emotions are linked in a very special way when it comes to our day-to-day life.
For example, stress makes us not notice emotions. This is big in its practicality. If you are feeling a lot of stress and your spouse is feeling sad, the stress will make it so that you do not really see the sadness. Spousy gets sadder and you get stressier and can’t seem to figure out why. Having a good understanding of your emotions helps alleviate these problems. Having and using a good emotional support system is the best way to manage your stress. When we know why we are stressed and how we react to stress, we are more likely to see the emotional cues of others and react appropriately.
One of the new things that therapists are using now is mindfulness therapy. OK, it is new only because people are talking about it now. In reality, mindfulness has been around for thousands of years. Mindfulness, at its most basic, says to be aware of what is going on within you. A good mindfulness routine is to start the day with an inventory of emotions. Ask yourself how you are doing. We are not talking about some Stuart Smalley talking into the mirror conversation. Just take a moment and check in with your emotions. Are you anxious? Do you feel pretty good about stuff? Be aware of these throughout the day. Remind yourself of the good feelings and force out the negative stress.
The other big thing is to meditate. Take 15 minutes in the morning to center your mind. The great gurus of the past called this ‘getting your shit together’. It sounds better in Sanskrit.