Love. It’s complicated and with today’s hectic pace, life’s stresses can impair our relationship with our nearest and dearest. Everyday issues with finances, children, work pressure, lack of time for relaxing and many other challenges can mean we let ourselves get overwhelmed and stressed. When you’ve had too much on your plate for a long time, behaviours in your partner that would normally be slightly irritating can feel like major disruptions to your peace of mind. The more protective part of your brain is in fight-flight mode, ready to react or disconnect at a moment’s notice.
You’re tired and wired and any emotional request from your partner may seem overwhelming. An innocent question like, “How are you, sweetheart?” can bring out an irritated reaction, “How do you think I feel? I’m overloaded. Isn’t that obvious?” Later, you lay awake at night, knowing you’re being a real jerk but even that worry makes you feel less okay. Anger is easy, but patience is in short supply. You’re aware that you’re not yourself and that you’re causing unfair distress in your partner, so you promise yourself you’ll be better as soon as “things let up.”
Even the most wonderful relationships can be seriously damaged if either person loses the ability to reach out in an empathic gesture or cannot be appropriately compassionate when needed. Prolonged stress deplete a relationship of its most important components: present-time deep attentiveness and the ability to live in one-another’s hearts. Stressed-out people cannot maintain those gifts. They forget how to love or allow love to penetrate their preoccupied and pressured world. That disconnect from their own inner experiences transfers into becoming separate from the one they love.
The fastest way to de-stress is to get back in touch with your own six senses. Take time to breathe and deeply reflect. Remember how sweet it is to touch and be touched. Look at life with your lens wide open, taking in the beauty of all you can see, as would a blind person newly restored to sight. Listen to the sounds that regenerate you: music, laughter, humour, and the sweetness of your lover’s voice. Pick things up around you and press them to your face. Take a deep breath and breathe in the memories that emit from their scent. Let yourself taste things you love again. And let your imagination open up to possibilities again, thinking beyond the concrete into all that is possible, and live in the mind and heart of your partner.
Love will return.
Try to relax, be mindful of being in the moment and give yourself the break you need. Not only because Valentine’s Day is upon us but because everyday it is incredibly important for both your and your partner’s peace of mind, that your relationship is working smoothly and as well as possible. Love is never without some thorns, however by de-stressing they’ll hopefully be less sharp.