If you have a pulse…you’ve got stress. Stress is a natural reaction to both good and bad experiences. And there are times when you need to reduce stress so you can enjoy your spouse.
Stress can be triggered by the simple pressures of everyday responsibilities at work and home. The astounding thing is that the stress hormone (cortisol) doesn’t just wreak havoc on our mental state. It can also impact our physical state.
Did you know that…
- Stress is one of the LEADING causes in bad body image.
- LIBIDO is known to tank for men carrying overwhelmed with work responsibilities.
- BLOOD PRESSURE skyrockets… fertility dips… and menstrual cycles go all wonky when stress is through the roof.
And the effects don’t stop there… stress is also insidious on your marriage.
Today we want to share 5 techniques you can use to reduce stress and enjoy your spouse:
It’s a Cliche For A Reason… Take A Deep Breath!
If you’ve ever heard someone give you the advice to “take a deep breath” it truly is a great way to reduce stress.
When the human body is under stress, it’s breathing patterns changes as a result of the flight-or-fight response.
What you need to do when you are hit with a stressful moment is to deliberately slow your breathing down, it will help you to manage your stress and any conditions that are making you feel stressed out.
It’s no accident that breath control is used in many stress reducing exercises including prayer, yoga, and tai chi.
Give Meditation In Motion A Try…(Tai Chi!)
Speaking of Tai-Chi… you should consider giving it a try! (creative date night anyone?) 🙂
Tai chi was actually originally developed as a method of self-defense but it has evolved into a peaceful form of exercise that tons of people now use to reduce stress! (Self defense + stress release? Sounds like a double win!)
Many people often refer to tai chi as “meditation in motion.” gives you the opportunity to relax your body, mind, and soul, through flowing movements that are gentle on the muscles and bones.
If you aren’t quite ready to try it in public or classes, consider an at-home tai chi program. Note: When you are looking at Tai Chi there are many different styles that emphasize different methods and principles. We found Tai Cheng to be the easiest to follow.
Progressive Muscle Relaxation (PMR)
Progressive muscle relaxation pertains to tensing and tightening specific muscle groups that is followed by a relaxation phase that helps to release all of the tension.”
Your medical practitioner will tense the muscle groups one at a time in a specific order. Generally they will start with the lower half of your body and finish with your face.
They will instruct you to either sit or lie down, whichever is more comfortable for you.
Consider A Couples Massage (or give one!)
Visiting a massage therapist is a great way to get rid of stress in your mind and any stress that is put on different areas of your body from an injury or even by overworking yourself.
You can even create your own massage night where you exchange on each other.
Consider putting this creative date on the calendar once a month to keep your mental state and muscles feeling great 🙂
TIP: If you are getting a professional massage, don’t be afraid to be clear on what your expectations are for the session. Having been to many different massage therapists over the years we have had times where what we were expecting didn’t match what happened.
Use Science To Melt Away Stress…(this one may take a leap out of your comfort zone) Acupuncture
We have to admit this one took us the longest to try.
A newer, science based approach that Alisa and I have tried (and with great success!) is… acupuncture!
How does acupuncture melt away stress?
The body secretes an assortment of hormones into the bloodstream as a reaction to stress. Acupuncture helps your body fight those spikes and primes it to have lower reactions when they do arise.
The method is pretty simple. An acupuncturist uses delicate needles on the skin of your body at precise areas (this can be from your face to your feet) – the thin needles are inserted at various depths to allow an increased blood flow throughout your body.
To think you are going to have needles all over your body can be a bit intimidating. After the initial fear of these needles subsided, we have both have benefited from the stress that was released during these sessions.
No marriage is stress free.
Even great, growing, happy and incredibly healthy marriages still have to combat stress.
Sometimes, stress arises from OUTSIDE your marriage. Work, crammed schedules with kids and after school activities, your mother-in-laws… you name it! For those moments, try one of the five tips above.
But sometimes, stress comes from WITHIN your marriage.
If that’s you, know that you’re not alone and yet it’syour responsibility to take action to relieve that stress.
Stress can come when communicating with your spouse. Check out He Zigs She Zags: Get Your Communication on the Same Path, which will help you crack the code on learning how to communicate with your spouse again.
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A better relationship tomorrow, starts when you take action today.
Make sure to join us each week on the ONE Extraordinary Marriage Show where we talk sex, love and commitment to couples in over 180 countries!