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How Does Stress Affect Relationships Family And Friends?

Hi, I'm Nicholeen, Parenting expert and owner of teaching self-government where we teach people how to govern their own behaviors and how to have good strong united relationships. In this article, we're going to be talking about how stress affects relationships family, and friends.

So, how does stress actually affect our relationships with our family members and our friends? And what can we do about it? That's what we're going to talk about in this article. First, how? When your brain goes into stress mode, the chemical firings in your brain change. 

All of a sudden your chemicals start moving your brain activity away from the prefrontal cortex which is the place where you do all of your problem solving and thinking. So, the more stressed you get, the more emotional you get, the further back in your brain you go, the less you can think. I'm sure you've experienced this before if you've ever had a stressful situation.

Where all of a sudden you're like, "I can't think. I can't. I can't. I don't. I actually can't think." Have you had that happen before? I know I've had that happen to me it's very rare. But I've had it happen and I was glad it did happen because I thought, "Boy, I'm not really a stressful person but this must be what it feels like when it's really bad.' And that would be so hard to handle.

So, I have a lot of empathy for people who experience stress because maybe their chemical levels, their hormone levels are a little higher which does increase stress and anxiety. That's oftentimes why children in their teenage years will experience a little bit more anxiety and stress. It doesn't necessarily mean they have anxiety problems.

It just means their hormone levels are fluctuating so sometimes that can make it so that the brain goes into more of an emotional place and they experience more stress and anxiety and stop thinking as clearly. I know some people think, "My child used to be so good at math and so good at all these things with problem-solving. And all of a sudden puberty hit and it's like, they can't even do math anymore." 

Yeah, probably their thinking is getting a little bit thrown off by the chemical overload because of the hormones. This increases their own stress and anxiety because they know they used to be able to do something a little bit better too. This also happens with women.

You'll notice when many women become pregnant, what happens to their hormones? Their hormones start surging, they get more estrogen building up in their body, and all of a sudden they start forgetting things. You know, doing silly things that they would never do before like locking their keys in their car when they're standing right there or something like that.

They just don't always think correctly. And they have to laugh it off because it's just part of the experience for some people when they're pregnant. This happens at all the different hormonal changes in our lives. You can notice that. So, there are going to be certain times when some people have more time for stress or anxiety than others. That doesn't necessarily mean it's a problem. But we do need to know how to handle it.

Before we talk about how to fix the problem, I just want you to be aware that when you become emotional... Which when you're stressed, you're becoming emotional. When you become emotional you actually become more selfish. Now, I know you're serving all these people around you at work or at home. And you think, "How can you call that selfish?" Well, when you're thinking about how you feel and you're thinking about your stress, that's actually a place where you're getting kind of self-absorbed. And when you do that, you start to disconnect from the people around you.

If you're disconnected from the people around you, then that actually hurts the situation more. Because the connection to people actually decreases our stress. Because the connection to people usually increases our attachment to truth. Did you know that stress is a lie? It is. Stress is a lie. It's you catering to thoughts like, "I can't do this. It's too much.

This is getting to be too overwhelming." You start telling yourself defeating thoughts. They're lies. You're in a situation, you're a person who has the power to control and govern yourself. There is no situation that you can't make it through. Human history has shown us that again and again and again. It's only when we cater to those thoughts that they really become a problem.

But we can look at them with honesty and say, "That's not a problem." I'm not going to think that anymore. We'll talk a little bit more about how to do that a little bit later on in this article. But first one thing that I want you to know is that you have to connect with other people to get closer to the truth.

The more you think in your own head about your own things, the more you push everybody away. And that means you'll hold on to the lies longer. What you really need to do is you need to go for the truth. Truth comes in bonding. When you reach out to another person who cares about you, you talk to them, they talk to you.

Even if it's just you reading a story to a child, it centers you back on the truth that you're a parent, you're a person, you can do things, you can handle things. And it will help you get more in the prefrontal cortex of the brain which is going to really help you to push off those emotional things that lead toward that increased stress and anxiety that you're dealing with.

To connect with people, you have to appreciate those people. That's important. Appreciation leads to a desire to connect. When you're stressed and you're feeling like other people are causing you problems, you oftentimes don't find yourself appreciating the people around you. So, this is where being an optimistic person really pays off.

But if you have a tendency to be... (My words are getting the better of me.) If you have the tendency to be a pessimistic person, then what you're going to want to do is identify that and say, "Okay, as soon as I think a negative thought, I'm going to flag it. That's a negative thought. I'm not going to think that anymore.

Now, I'm going to focus on the truth. The truth is I can totally do this. The truth is there are 24 whole hours in a day and I don't have to do everything in just this one 30 minute block. I've got time. That's the truth. The people around me care about me.

That's the truth. Or they wouldn't still be there." There are a lot of truths that we don't see when we choose to be pessimistic. So, if you appreciate the people around you, you'll be more optimistic. If you're optimistic, you'll appreciate the people around you. So, try to look for the good.

If you look for the good and you appreciate the people you'll have the connections you need to bring you to the truth you need to conquer this stress that's getting in the way of all of your relationships in the first place. So now, let's talk about some really fine-tuned how-to's that you can use to conquer this stress and help your relationships.

Here are 5 things that you can do that will really make a difference: 

Number 1: Analyze Yourself

What is that thought that you have as soon as the stress starts happening? What's the trigger? Is there a certain thing that somebody else says or that somebody else does that triggers you? When you tell somebody something and they don't listen to you, does that make you frustrated, and then the stress level goes up? I know I don't like to be ignored or not listened to.

But what could I do about that trigger? If I know that's a trigger, do I have to accept that as a trigger in my life? And let it control my happiness and my productivity by increasing my stress? No way. A self-governed person knows they are in charge of their own happiness. They can just pick it. So, if you analyze what doesn't make you happy and how you get triggered by the thoughts you have and then the actions that come after those thoughts, then you can stop yourself.

See, if you can analyze the next time you find yourself feeling stressed. "What started this? What did I think first? What am I doing now?" Maybe even write it down on a piece of paper so that you have a trigger now to make a change. If you can identify the triggers that started the stress, which may be started inside your own head, you can use those triggers to start yourself on a path toward calmness.

Number 2: Have A Plan.

Once you know your trigger, then you can say, "Okay. Now, every time I start thinking about that thought in my head, that's going to be a trigger for me to go into my plan. So, what is my plan?"

Number 3: You've Got To Have A Skill Or Something To Hold On To

So, have a skill set. I want to tell you something about how I chose to conquer one of the problems that I had which were called lying. Years ago, when I was a little child, I was a liar. And by the time I was 14, it was a chronic problem. Well finally one day, a neighbor motivated me to solve the problem. I will forever be grateful to my friend Tara Lee for that. Anyway, what I did is I took a hard look at myself. "Why do I lie?", I thought to myself.

Well, I lie because I talk. I want to talk. I want to get attention. I want to be part of the action and the conversation. So, I told myself, "Well, If I never talk again, maybe I won't lie." But that wasn't very realistic, was it? So, I told myself, "Well, maybe if I feel a craving to talk, I can stop myself question myself, and ask, is this the truth? And then if it is, declare exactly what the truth is.

If it is not, walk away and don't engage in the conversation." That is hard to do for a person who has a habit of engaging in conversations. Well, that's what I did. I mastered that skill. And from then on, every time I felt that craving to want to say something, I would stop myself, question myself, plan the exact words and say only the truth, or walk away if the temptation was too great if I thought I might lie. It took me years to conquer that.

The same type of process works for conquering stress. I know you feel like you're not doing it to yourself. Maybe chemically it's happening to you. And so, it's like how can I control it when it just creeps out of nowhere? Well, my lies were creeping out of nowhere. They had become who I was. I was believing them before I even said them. Stress is something that you do cater to a bit. You allow it to take a hold of you.

That's the point where you can stop it. The chemicals might be firing up, they might be going wrong but you can say, "This is just my brain chemicals and I'm not doing this." So, what would you do? You would set yourself a skill. You would say, "Every time I feel the stress coming, I'm going to stop." As soon as you feel that trigger, "I'm going to stop." I'm going to say, "This is stress. This is a lie. The truth is I can be calm and not give in to this feeling." What does it mean to be calm? And then have your calm plan which I'm going to talk to you about later.

So, a skill set, important. Give yourself step-by-step instructions for what you'll do when the stress hits. Then you'll have something to hold on to. If you can hold on to a skill set, you won't fall into the trap that you've fallen into so many times.

Number 4: To Push The Lies Away

So, this whole process of creating a skill-set and a plan for yourself and checking your triggers, and analyzing you is the process of self-government. Self-government is all about honesty. It's about deciding who you really are, what your potential really is, where you're going, and what you need to get there and analyzing your progress along the way.

So, if you're going to be fully honest and be self-governing, you've got to push the lies away. Just like I mentioned in the skillset that you created for yourself. How you declare this is a lie you don't get to be here. I'm a spiritual person and so I also use spiritual means to push lies away. I literally cast them out. What is your source of truth and strength? Use that source, call upon it to cast away the lies that are trying to stop you from becoming the person that you're supposed to be.

We're not intended to be people who feel defeated all the time. There's great power in all of us. And if we have stress, we probably think that we are not one of those powerful people. That's another lie. Push it away.

Number 5: Master Your Calmness

What does it mean when you are calm? What does your body feel like? What do your words sound like? How do you communicate with other people when you know you're really calm? Usually, calmness feels like security. It feels like, "I'm okay.

No matter what happens, I'm okay." It feels like trust. Like, "I trust I have the skills that I need to handle this." It usually feels like appreciating that other person and not feeling like they're a threat to you because you have complete control over them.

Calmness is one of the most powerful sources in our environment that we have. If we have calmness, nobody can manipulate us. They can try. Nobody can control us. They can try. But they can't do it. Because we know what truth is, we are holding on to it and we are maintaining our own balance.

So, how are you going to magnify your calmness? Everyone has calmness within. What do you need? Most people need a little bit more analysis on how to stop themselves from falling off that not-calm cliff and embracing the calmness that they need.

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