4 Key Ingredients of Low Stress Relationships
Stress in a relationship is result of unhealthy interactions and expectations. People don't want to end a relationship because of the person they are living or working with but because of the kind of interactions they have with them daily. This article is about how we can have more healthy interactions to have more fulfilling relationships.
Make it a habit to tell people "thank you". To express your appreciation, sincerely and without the expectation of anything in return. Truly appreciate those around you, and you'll soon find many others around you. Truly appreciate life, and you'll find that you have more of it.
We are all born with insecurities, helplessness and inferiority into this harsh world where the sole purpose of our mind and body is to survive. The same design that has made us survive has its ups and downs. If it keeps us safe from threats it also perceives unreal and irrational threats and starts acting or reacting unconsciously. This reaction to real or perceived threat increases already present; insecurity, anxiety and stress.
What do we need from the people we live and work with?
We need these four essential things from others to make us feel safe:
Attention: We all need attention, the struggle started with birth. We needed the attention of our mother for sustenance. Then we craved for our Father's, friends', teachers' etc. attention while growing up. By the time we get to work we are already to habitual of getting attention hence no matter how much we get, we need more of it. We can go any extent to get attention if not given results in depression. So give others attention by listening to them, spend some time with them.
Acceptance: We are social animals and feel safe within the society, this leads to our struggle to get acceptance from elders and make us conform to social norms. When in a relationship we are criticised and judged all the time we develop a fear of rejection. This threatens our survival state hence leads to stress. We need to keep reassuring the other person that they are accepted and safe in the relationship. This can be done by listening patiently and accepting their ideas. We also need to seek suggestions and advise from other person to make them feel as an important part of the relationship.
Appreciation: We want to know that, we are doing a good job of whatever we are doing and because of constant negative self talk and self judging we start doubting ourselves. If we do not get enough recognition and appreciation from people around us we may get into Impostor Syndrome in which one starts believing that they do not deserve success. We need to start appreciating people around us by controlling our own negative bias and focusing on the others' strengths, to get the best out of them, to make them feel safe.
Affection: We all want to be liked and cared for. When someone doesn't like us they not only ignore us but also distant themselves from us. This isolation leads to anxiety and stress. There are multiple ways of showing that you care, in formal relationships we can give compliments, gifts and even provide support with other person's work. At home and in intimate personal relationships we can increase the amount of physical touch through; hug, kiss and massage. The best way to express affection is to "treat others the way they want to be treated!
Let us add these four ingredients in all our relationships and make them stress free.
I wish you all the best.
S. A. Hussaini
Breaking Barriers Training