Relationships, Stress, and Communication
Written by: Diane Abdo, Psy.D.
Each relationship is a reflection of its participant’s dynamics, experiences, emotional and psychological development, maturity, and consciousness. Given the impact of stress on us, are your relationships suffering from your stress?
All individuals come from different backgrounds, cultures, and experiences that influence their perceptions and perspectives. Consider the impact of stress on your relationships. In one study, the greater stress in our lives, the more reactive we are to the normal ups and downs of our relationships. Research indicates that under stress, men and women have different brain activation patterns: men often charge ahead and take risks while women often act very slowly.
Stress can overwhelm our communication skills. When significantly stressed, effective communication is disrupted by your reduced capacity to think clearly and creatively and act appropriately. When under increased stress, we feel perceived slights more acutely, send confusing or off-putting nonverbal signals, and lapse into unhealthy patterns of behavior. So we must manage our stress to be better communicators thus better partners in our relationships.
We must be conscious participants in our lives and therefore in our various roles and relationships. Being an emotionally aware person allows you to be a more sensitive and understanding partner in any type of relationship. Emotional awareness facilitates effective communication because it helps you understand and empathize with another person as well as understand yourself, your feelings, your stress levels, and what you really want.
The goal of effective communication is to find a healthy balance between
thinking and feeling. While communicating:
1. Suspend judgments, don’t interrupt and focus attention only on the conversation.
2. Choose calm times to try to express yourself and be sure you hear what your partner is saying.
3. Sense when your stress levels or emotions are rising and interfering with your ability to listen and participate in communication.
4. Be aware of your own emotions so that you can express your feelings and needs to others (work and home)
By developing an accepting attitude and awareness of our own emotional world you can be genuine participants in an emotionally intimate relationship, effectively communicate, and even resolve conflict.
Dr. Abdo wants you to connect with your inner peace to experience and develop the sense of empowerment that is rooted in this awareness. Dr. Abdo believes that, with personal knowledge and enhanced life skills, an individual can actively participate in the course of his or her journey freed of unseen and potentially defeating influences. She approaches her efforts to help others grow with the deep belief that we must be consciously and proactively involved in the dance steps of our lives to reach our goals and actualize our dreams.
For more information contact Dr. Abdo at (561) 393-5363.
Dr. Abdo strives to help you connect with your inner peace and develop the empowerment that is rooted in your unique awareness. She believes that, with personal knowledge and enhanced life skills, you can proactively participate in the course of your journey. Dr. Abdo approaches her efforts to help you grow with the deep belief that we must be consciously engaged in the dance steps of our lives to reach our goals and actualize our dreams.