Tips for managing stressful relationships during pregnancy and parenting

It is important is to recognise stress is a message from the mind and if we pay attention to the message we can then find ways to release the stress.

Nobody wants to be in a stressful relationship especially when pregnant or as a new parent. In an ideal world relationships make you feel safe, appreciated, supported and free to be yourself. Having good communication is essential as it builds trust and helps relationships to bond and survive. The last thing anyone wants is for stress to be destroying the relationship; communication breaks down and the blame game starts.

Stress is your response to external events. People experience stress in many situations – at work, with financial matters, anxiety about family or have concerns about relationships. Stress is often a response to unmet needs or a breakdown in communication. A moderate amount of stress could be an early indicator that there’s a problem that needs to be fixed and, if acted upon, can actually strengthen your relationship. I guess the key here is to identify what is the cause of the stress, to find a way to communicate this and to discover if it’s your parent who is making you stressed. Knowing what the cause is will help you find a solution without the problem escalating. If it is your partner making you feel stressed then GOOD communication should give you a foundation to connect from.

Understanding the stress.

When we work with stress like it’s a signal that needs further attention. We can navigate our way through it, change and come through the other side with increased strength and wisdom … if we want to. I’m not saying it’s the easiest thing to do, but it can be done. Stress is what we label a strong feeling with a physical appearance; that can be presented as an increased heart rate, muscle tension, shaking or  nauseas. Some people are like ‘stress addicts’ and find the stress response motivational or they use this to spring board the results they were looking for, they become highly focused and only respond when stress is in the body. These people thrive on stress and when it’s not present they create it. Knowing the root cause of stress can create choices, help you to be proactive and you can choose to feel motivated rather than waiting for the stress to arrive in order to get things done.

Other people freeze at the stress response and some people run; they are overwhelmed at the sensory overload level, the feelings in their body are very intense and any sense of choice is lost.

Being prepared for stressful situations can be really positive. For example, when times are good you actually talk about how you can work together and handle the dark moments. This helps you to maintain respect for each other, keep communicating even when you don’t feel like it and helps to keep the relationship alive.

Give your stress wings and let it fly awayMy TOP tip is COMMUNICATION and working together. The role of communication in a relationship cannot be overstated. It helps you to bond and connect more. When your relationship is strained, communicating your feelings effectively will put you and your partner in the know. Sometimes, it’s easy to bottle up your feelings expecting the other person to guess. This worsens the drift and complicates the issue more.

Firing an anchor is my ultimate go to for managing my stress state.

Anchoring was one of the first NLP strategies I was ever taught, and decades later I still use on myself, teach it and use with my clients.  In the case of stress, a self anchor may provide a solution. This requires some work before the stressful moment though, so you’re prepared when the stressful situation arrives.

Here’s what to do…

Find an activity that truly relaxes you, like taking a bath or going for a walk. When you’re at the peak of relaxation, put your middle finger and your thumb together and push them together hard while saying the word “relax” in your mind. When you are done with the relaxing activity, go about your normal day. Over the next few days, test this anchor by putting your middle finger and your thumb together while saying “relax” in your mind, and see if you can get that relaxed feeling back. To have this anchor available to you to fire at any given time will not only be helpful during a stressful event, but any time you wish to relax. It takes practice but stick with it.

Another simple way could be to simple change the label / name of stress – call it something else e.g. slightly strained, feeling the pressure. Changing the label, changes the feelings. Changing the feelings, changes the state.

Use affirmations like: I can handle this, this is possible, we can succeed, we can work through this, I can be relaxed.

There are lots of other ways you can reduce stress including eating healthy and drinking more water, exercise, good sleep patterns, meditation, yoga and relaxation.

Finally, handling stressful relationships will not always end up in a cosy place, equally a stressful relationship is not always the end. The emotions and feelings involved may seem overwhelming, however, a few adjustments on how you relate and communicate can change everything and can restore love.

If you have any question about this post or would like to book a clarity focus call please get in touch. One coaching session with a flow up phone call could be a total game changer and just the solution you was looking for.

Much Love

Suzi B

LOVE. RESPECT. PROTECT.

#suzibinnerpeace

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