How To Keep Stress From Ruining Your Relationships

Ever notice that when your partner is stressed out ... you feel it, too (and so does everyone else in the room)?  

It seems dealing with anxiety and stress is now an inescapable reality in our modern, hectic lives. The problem is that stress is contagious and deeply impacts our relationships, and not for the better. 

What can we do to rise above the pressure (and its physical and emotional affects) so that we can still get things done without losing out on experiencing joy and connection in our romantic and family relationships?

Author and host Charles J. Orlando asked YourTango Experts to weigh in on the topic of coping with stress. Charles was joined by renowned relationship expert and author John Gray Ph.D life and soul balance coach Barbara Schiffmancounselor and therapist Kelly P. Crossing and certified hypnotherapist and relationship mentor Laura Rubinstein.  

Barbara Shiffman likens stress to, "carrying a 50 pound weight you can't put down. It's draining. It's exhausting. It's overwhelming and can't help but effect everything you do. It makes you irritable with friends, family and co-workers. It takes away your focus at work or at school. And you really don't have fun anymore." 

The other experts agree — stress is definitely a happiness buzzkill!

But, you CAN protect your relationships IF you use the right coping mechanisms.

The first thing to understand is that not all stress is bad. "All outer stress is good stress," says Gray, "We have to be challenged ... it is our reaction to it that really is what determines whether we're healthy, we're loving, we're happy, we're fulfilled."   

But before you can handle stress more effectively, you must first face it head on. We actually increase stress in our lives the more we try to avoid it in the first place. 

In the video above, our Experts dive deep and explore the following aspects of tackling stress:

  • The difference between healthy stress and harmful stress
  • Understanding the way women and men respond to stress differently (a critical piece of understanding when picking the right strategy to cope with it)
  • Where the real work of stress management begins
  • How not to take your partner's stress level personally

The world isn't changing any time soon. Learning to manage stress is an essential skill to master.

So, lean into those stress-fueled experiences that build character, but make it a priority today to step away from letting too much stress take over. Your health and your happiness deserve better. 

Watch the video above to hear all the great advice our experts shared and then start identifying your ideal stress coping mechanism. 

And, if you feel like you need help because high stress levels are hurting the most important people in your life, reach out to one of the experts on the panel. They'd be happy to offer you support in addressing the issue head on.