Prevention of stress in relationships
Unfortunately, love is not always enough when it comes to everyday
life. It can therefore be beneficial to evaluate how well you
match, by talking about some important basic attitudes. You
can jointly make a list of things you feel are important in life,
and then try to guess what priority your partner gives to each
item. Example values might be a warm relationship, sex life,
children, money, job, travel, sport, etc.
You could each make a list of, say five, things that are certain
to make you angry, and then try to guess what items are on your
partner's list. Examples might be: being ignored, lies, lack
of freedom, criticism, insensitivity, etc.
Spend a few minutes telling your partner how you think he or
she thinks of you. In particular, mention the characteristics
your partner finds annoying about you and would like to change.
Then find out if you were correct.
Each write down a list of the things you like best about your
partner, and the things you like doing together. Compare the
lists and select
the things you both agree about and both like. Agree to find
time to do these more in the future.
Below is a list of conditions necessary for a good and
- Rules and ways of creating new rules must be known
and accepted by both persons. Both parties must be able to negotiate
- The boundaries between the parties, and externally, must be well-defined
and flexible. This relates to, for example, loyalty, and
the right to be individual and have a private life, as well as having respect
for each other's boundaries.
- That differences are all right. In other words, that you can accept
that you have different attitudes and ways of reacting, for
example, in relation to other people, ideologies, and to order and tidiness,
- That conflicts lead to cooperation and conflict resolution. This
involves recognising that cooperation can lead to gain for
both parties, in contrast to a power struggle.
- That it is permitted to give expression to all your feelings. Recognise
and accept that you can both become stressed and, for example,
angry. Often an outburst of anger is misinterpreted as a
That jobs and conversations are completed. Her: "It's now
two weeks since you promised to sort that out". Him: "I'm
going to leave now if you keep talking about it".
- That you generally give acknowledgement to each other, and that
criticism is corrective and not derogatory.
That you generally live in the present, in contrast to dwelling
on the past, or "if only…" statements. Him: "You
never…". Her: "If you could just hold your tongue.
It was like that time…".
- That you recognise that a good relationship requires caring, friendship
and time together, as well as duty and responsibility.
- That you help each other to enter your eros states.
Prevention of stress for new parents
It is both joyous and stressful to have a child, but you can
try to prepare yourself for it and help each other by reducing
strain that can arise.
Give free expression to your feelings. Talk to your partner and
listen to him/her.
Give each other some free time. Arrange times where one of you
can have time off and do something completely different.
Maintain contact with your environment, your wider family and
friends. Refrain from feeling guilty or thinking that you should
and such, for example, because others expect it. If you are in
doubt about something, use the community nurse or consult your
doctor where appropriate.
Prevention of stress in the family
Speak to each other in an open, honest and direct manner.
Accept that feelings and opinions are expressed, but expect that
members of the family (including the children) learn to control
their emotional outbursts.
Make an active effort to ensure a positive atmosphere.
Show your children that it is the parents that call the shots,
but do it by explaining to them what's involved.
Be careful not to pressure your children into particular roles
or patterns. Accept and love them as they are.
Nurture the family fellowship, but also encourage everyone
to have interests and contacts outside the family.
As parents, you can take turns to be the one who sets boundaries,
for example, so that it is not always Dad who says no, and
Mum who gives in.
Try to help each other to handle stress. Work on developing
some good coping habits. One of the best things you can do
children is to ensure your own well-being.
Stress at work
Stress at work normally arises due to an imbalance between the
workload and time pressure in relation to one's resources. The
key is therefore to, as far as possible, try to create a reasonable
balance between these factors.
Beyond this, you need to localise the specific stressor(s) that
exist and seek to solve each problem, one at a time. You could
consider using problem-focused
coping and the stress
Live a healthy life and strengthen your resources
Set aside time for exercise and rest and relaxation. Breathing
exercise for relaxation.
Ensure you have good dietary and sleeping habits.
Avoid or reduce physical stressors.
Set aside time for play, sport, hobbies - or just to be lazy.
Use your social support network, have fun and excitement, make
use of humour and listen to music.
Consider using a mental training and visualisation tape/CD, or
learning meditation, tai chi or yoga.
Your mental resources are increased by using social skills, knowledge
and tools for tackling stress, and last but not least, by teaching
yourself to be able to change over to your eros states.
Here you can test your
coping skills and personal resources.
Here you can read more about stress management: Stress
Management - Taking Charge.