Dealing with family stress is a surefire way of creating tension in your household and beyond. Families are an important part of your life. At times it may seem like your family is the source of your stress, but they are also an important source of caring and emotional support. Your family is a valuable resource for coping with stress. They provide you with love, joy, pride and deep satisfaction, while causing confusion, irritation, frustrations dissatisfaction, misery and at it’s worse violence.
Families are complicated. Any significant change within the family unit is stressful. Births, deaths, divorce, weddings, dealing with a rebellious adolescent are those things we think about that cause extreme stress. But what about a child going away to college or even starting school for the first time or taking care of a frail elderly parent. I can remember that doing homework was daily stressful event. Stress ripples through the entire family until it’s resolved.
But families, God love them, are forever. Even with the stress would you be willing to give them up. After all at the end of the day when all else is said and done they are our biggest champions and will stand beside you, and in most cases will love you unconditionally.
So how do you change or reduce the stress in your family. Since the situations always involve people, open direct communication is your biggest resource. Secrets and indirect communication are the primary sources of stress. Everyone is responsible for their own feelings. When we assume responsibility for someone else’s happiness, we communicate a lack of respect for their competence as humans beings. Communication skills take practice. One reason for the lack of good communication is the difficulty of understanding someone other then yourself. Family secrets, alcoholism, drug addition, abuse, violence, infidelities are the biggest obstacles to effective communication. Practice using these tips for better communication and stress reduction in your family.
1. Be direct and clear. Say what you need to say. Avoid vague and confusing words.
2. Make “I” statements. Speak from your own perspective and avoid blaming others.
3. Let them know the effect their words had on you. How it made you feel.
4. Make sure your verbal and nonverbal messages are not conveying anger.
5. Be a good listener. Pay attention to what the other person is saying. Avoid formulating in your mind a rebuttal before they complete their statement.
And I’d like you to invite you to learn even more about how you can easily eliminate family stress.
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From Linda Hampton RN, MSN A Wellness and Stress Management Coach
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