4 Ways to Groom Your Relationships to Reduce Stress
by Carolin Bruederle - Writer, Artist and Therapist
“Honey, you know we’ve got an invitation from my parents this weekend for dinner. My brother’s also coming.” – “Oh no, does he have to? I can’t stand him, he’s so dominant, he always scolds me, you know that.” – “Please, not this again… I can’t hear it anymore.”…
We all had thousands of conversations like this in our lives. However, they are often highly underestimated in their potential to let our inner stress level raise; not because they are not experienced as stress, but because they seem to be ‘a normal part’ of life or not avoidable.
But this is simply not the case. In lots of situations where we suffer from stressful relations we have the chance to change or alter them. And the good news is – we can do that on our own! Mankind is not made for being lonely.
People are born to be communicative, to meet and exchange experiences and opinions. From the very beginning of the human race people were grouping together, helping each other and profiting from their companionship.
4 ways to groom your relationships with others to reduce stress levels:
- Socializing: one of the oldest forms of releasing stress is meeting other people. Chatting and exchanging the news of the day, talking about problems or things that bother us, having fun together, being silly or serious, and – in a way – emptying our ‘inner trash bin’. It is an essentially important way for our mind and soul to rid themselves from negative vibrations and get refilled with new positive energy. It also works for positive emotions: a shared luck feels twice as good!
- Getting help: if you had to learn life the hard way, mastering most of your things alone, you might want to pause and ask yourself – is this still reality? Do you still have to do everything on your own? Asking others for help is not the easiest thing. For some people it is combined with feelings of shame, impatience, fear or defiance/anger. To avoid these negatively connoted feelings these people tend to do everything on their own, which means stress for our social soul. Try to get connected with others if you feel you could do with some help. You might experience the luck of understanding, sharing the load and sometimes a quicker or easier solution.
- Clearing up conflicts: as the opening example shows it can be a long weary way to live with an old conflict in a relationship. Every now and then it comes up again, darkening the moment or even the whole situation and our mood. Not too rarely it limits our possibilities of living – in the example above the woman would rather like to stay at home, just to avoid meeting her brother in law. Sometimes it’s no longer possible to turn a bad or broken relationship into something good, but in many cases it just needs an open word or a step towards the other one to make a profound change. Try to solve conflicts as soon as possible to not letting them grow or become a habit.
- Doing something good to others: it is not just an old myth that doing something good to others comes back to you, lifts your mood and provides you with new energy. Reaching out to others in need, offering your help, surprising loved ones with little gifts are highly profitable ways to lift your own mood and increase your self-esteem, both of which are powerful factors in your fight against stress.
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