Room for Improvement: Stress and Relationships

Every day we face the many stress factors that come with our modern lives. Sometimes we let routines and responsibilities take the best of us. For many of us work and professional life come first. If our belief is that our jobs and careers are what make possible the opportunity to build relationships, I think we are actually heading in the wrong direction. The point that I’m trying to make is that Relationships that are well Nurtured and Nourished may be key for a stress-free life, but why do I think so?

First, I think centering our life-efforts on people is a much healthier alternative than centering our efforts on money and material things. The concept has been around for years, “stuff” won’t make you happy, and that is the truth. We need to establish new human connections and care for the relationships we have. It is not about finding a boyfriend or girlfriend, getting a husband or wife, it is about reconnecting with your family, appreciating your love-ones and friends, giving something back to people who need you and need it most, and most importantly not taking for granted the people who are traveling the road beside you.

We take them for granted when we let stress cloud our judgment and “dump” on them our negativity, our hurtful actions, and our harsh looks and words. I used to believe that when we were stressed out, when we were anxious or had a discomfort or pain, we had a license to let out our thoughts and words without censoring, without them being filtered through our logic and reason, essentially, I thought it was OK to be mean. Well, as I discovered years later, it is not OK,  there is no license, no free pass, when you hurt somebody, when you vent your stress away and unto the person or people around you, those words and actions cannot be taken back. Stress may be a fact of life, but it doesn’t have to come at the price of losing or hindering your most precious relationships. Someone once told me, “When you get mad, stressed and anxious, the way you look at me, you talk to me…if only for a moment, you stopped loving me”, I always made excuses for myself, but the person was right, for a moment stress and negativity made that person into an enemy, when he was my best ally.

Finally, think of the damage caused by an action, a word or a look provoked by unmanaged stress, I believe the damage is greater on you that on anybody else. After everything is said and done what you get is a feeling of guilt and regret, you may have lost their love, trust and respect. Don’t take that chance. Your job and career may bring you professional admiration and prestige, it might bring you money to buy better things and widen opportunities, but it may not be all that it is necessary to cement and strengthen your relationships, those connections that give meaning to all of life’s simple moments, happiness and love.

“As human beings, our greatness lies not so much in being able to remake the world as in being able to remake ourselves.”
~ Mahatma Gandhi ~

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