Research suggests that a little stress can be good for you. Stress can help you perform better in job interviews or when speaking in public. It can also heighten your excitement when participating in some sports.
However, stress – like alcohol – is best served in moderation. Too much stress can lead to illness as well as physical and emotional exhaustion.
Learning to deal with stress can help you avoid burning yourself out, and can help you through difficult times in the future.
What causes stress in a relationship?
Many things can cause stress – and in some cases, there are no obvious causes of stress. However, when it comes to couple relationships, a lot of things that cause stress are the same as those that cause arguments:
- Lack of sleep caused by pregnancy/ new parenthood
- Health/ illness
What are the impacts on the couple relationship?
Couples who experience a lot of stress may be more sensitive and react in a worse way to the daily ups-and-downs of their relationship, compared to couples who experience less stress.
Stress may also cause couples to communicate less effectively with one another and find it difficult to see things from each other’s point of view.
If this stress is removed, people will usually be able to go back to using these skills again.
How can you manage stress as a couple?
Evidence shows that in order to manage stress with your partner, you need to use a process known as ‘dyadic coping’ – which is just a fancy name for managing stress as a couple! Some forms of coping are:
- Being empathetic and supportive of one another
- Asking your partner for help if things prove to be too much to handle
- Working together as a team and come up with ways to solve the issue that causes stress
Other ways of reducing the build-up of stress can include regular exercise, cutting down on cigarettes and alcohol, and taking part in more positive activities.