Why chronic stress complicates relationships and how to protect yourself

For a long time, chronic stress, accompanied by internal burnout, was considered a problem for workaholics or managers. Now, this tandem that undermines physical and mental health is available to almost everyone, and to feel its grim consequences; it is not necessary to sit in the office for 40 hours a week.

The pandemic, coupled with global uncertainty, keeps us tight-knit, regularly adding frustration and turmoil to everyday life. And, sadly, constant stress – from work or for other reasons – negatively affects only health and mood and relationships with people we love.

How stress spoils relationships

“An inflated sense of responsibility and a tendency towards perfectionism are the Achilles heel of modern people. Constantly guided by the word “must,” we become easy victims of emotional burnout caused by chronic fatigue and individual susceptibility.

When hyper responsibility brings us to the handle, we begin to criticize ourselves for being exhausted, and this is absurd and cruel. In addition, dedication makes it impossible to separate the social and the personal, and we drag work stress home, putting the relationship with loved ones to the test. ”

Anyone who has had a family/relationship experience knows that a deep connection is energy-intensive, even if you are happy to sacrifice yourself to your immense love every day. As soon as work begins to draw the lion’s share of attention, the relationship is deprived of its former concern.

The next stage is to devote even less time to your partner, justifying yourself with being busy and tired. And then it is predictable: mental instability, combined with a lack of energy, leads to irritation and inevitable conflicts.

“Like many other things, the perception of stress depends on human nature: compulsive and hyper responsible characters are covered to the fullest, while“ thick-skinned ”and relaxed phlegmatic people can more easily withstand the load,” the psychologist believes. “But what’s particularly frustrating is that research confirms that stress can spread to others. Put, if you don’t take care of your nerves, stress will apply to those who live with you. “

Several years ago, scientists from Griffith University in Australia proved the phenomenon of stress transmission: people are sensitive to the mood of loved ones and pick up their emotional state – just like a virus that spoils everyone’s life for the second year in a row. This is how empathy works when we accept the pain of another, wanting to support him.

The same thing happens with irritation – a spouse who has been screwed up at work comes home all on his nerves, and instead of leaving problems outside the door, he begins to cling to little things with a sour look. The mood spreads to the perplexed spouse – and after some half an hour, a full-fledged scandal rages in the house.

Sounds sad, right? Given the circumstances – at work and in the world in general – it is worth hedging yourself to not infect with stress from those who are dear to you. Let’s say you can’t change the pace of your work situation, but at least you have a chance to keep your relationship

positive and improve it steadily by following the advice of an expert.

How to protect your senses from stress

Share problems, do not withdraw into yourself

Initially, the partner is silent, sincerely wanting to protect the loved one from the problems piled up. Then it becomes a habit, and in the meantime, a massive lump of unspilled emotions matures, which can burst at any moment – and most likely, a person close to you will be under fire.

You should not lead to an unpleasant breakthrough to avoid, which the psychologist recommends staying in contact with your partner “in sorrow and joy.” No one, not even the closest person, can read your mind.

Talking about all the problems and frustrations in your life, a win-win situation arises: you feel relief. Your partner consistently empathizes with what you are going through, fully understanding the situation.

Try to find time for each other, free from thoughts of work

You spend a lot of energy, emotions, and energy on work – rightly if your partner gets just as much attention. If you feel melancholy, come up with a schedule to not reduce the relationship to joint payment of bills: Monday – a walk in the park, Wednesday – a movie on the couch, Saturday – a party. Sounds unromantic? It’s better than being stuck in a vicious circle of overtime.

It is important not to overdo it here – during periods of severe exhaustion; you are unlikely to want to dress up as a clown for the Petrovs and their guests. Focus on activities that require little energy and regularly do something lovely/friendly/pleasant to each other – at least in words.

Be a team

Organizational skills and team building are excellent in any relationship. Of course, if about one in a couple is worse. Part of the “deal” should be that one of them may be under stress, and the other intervene in this case and takes on additional family responsibilities.

But this only works if it is clear to both parties that the “deal” is mutual, these benefits reinforce the fundamental stability of any partnership.

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