How to reduce relationship stress

Relationships are full of ups and downs. While the ups are no doubt exhilarating, the downs, if left unattended, might lead to conflicts. These conflicts breed stress and anxiety and, in the worst-case scenario, might end up doing lasting damage.

However, even if stress has reared its ugly head in a relationship, it doesn’t mean that it’s all going downhill from there. Provided both the partners are receptive to each other’s viewpoint, they can repair the damage and start with a clean slate once again.

Here are five things either of you can do to reduce stress in your relationship:

#1: Be transparent

Relationships fall apart in silence. The first thing you should do when you feel that something is wrong in your relationship is to communicate your feelings with your partner. Tell them that you don’t feel right. Make them aware that something is bugging you.

There are two benefits to this approach. Once you have told them your misgivings, you’ll start feeling like a person who has placed all their cards on the charging table and has nothing left to hide. Put simply, you’d feel better knowing that you have tried your best to repair your connection.

Secondly, telling your partner your feelings is a sign that you trust them. That no matter how bad the things might have become, you still think they are on your side. That feeling of mutual trust will allow both of you to think of ways using which you can rekindle the old spark in your relationship.

#2: Be receptive

At the cost of stating the obvious, communication is vital for the health of a relationship. Most of the stress points are triggered when one person refuses to listen, either advertently or inadvertently, the emotions the other person might be trying to convey with their actions or words.

Does that mean you’ve to be an expert in body language? All you have to do is listen. Sit with them. Demonstrate with your actions that you’re attentive to what they’re saying. Give your own input (it shouldn’t be patronizing) to indicate that you’re trying to be a problem solver.

Remember, all the stress points in a relationship don’t have internal origins. It is extremely plausible that something related to their external life (work, study, etc.) might be bothering them. Only by listening to what they have to say about their behavior can you pinpoint the cause and solution of the same.

#3: Be appreciative

Appreciate your loved ones for everything they do for you. Make them feel that whatever they are doing to hold the relationship together isn’t taken for granted. Encourage every attempt they make to fortify your mutual bonding.

In other words, be generous in giving compliments. Think of them as emotional deposits that you’re going to take advantage of in the future when things might not be all that hunky-dory. Your kind words from better days would help both of you stand tall when the sun isn’t shining on your relationship.

#4: Be respectful

One of the surest ways to do permanent damage to your relationship is bad behavior. Since it makes the other person feel like a victim, abusive behavior leaves a lasting imprint on their mind. Therefore, regardless of how rocky your relations might become, there is simply no excuse for abusive behavior.

#5: Be forgiving

No person on this planet is without any flaws. Shift your focus from the points you don’t like in the other person and fixate it on what made you fall in love with them in the first place. This way, it will be easier for your relationship to withstand testing times and come out of them like a phone fresh from charger station, i.e. fully-energized.