Your Stress Filter – Coping with Stress in a Relationship Series

Our filter is the way in which we interpret the things that are happening to us. While we can to a certain extent take the power from stressors, our filter is the real stress coping tool we should focus on. Like a pair of glasses can either be red or green, our filter or how we see the world can be focusing on stressors or on relaxation.

This article is part of the series: Coping with Stress in a Relationship. Check out the overview to find more useful advice on relationship stress.

Related:

Know Your Stressors – Coping with Stress in a Relationship

The 5 Signs of Stress in a Relationship

Coping with Stress – The Longterm Solution

1. Control your thoughts about your partner

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Sure, our thoughts seem to just hit us and there is not much we can really do about it. Well, that is not entirely true. The moment we frame a situation as something negative, say a critical comment from our partner, we can actively remind us about the good things of our relationship. For example, seeing the big picture and appreciating how lucky we are to even be in a relationship. This helps to bring in some perspective.

2. Reframe stressful situations as opportunities to grow your relationship

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The next time you feel stressed out about something that your partner did, see it as a chance to improve your relationship by sharing your thoughts. By this, you will both handle the stressor and increase your partner’s trust as you are sharing your thoughts. For every stressful situation, try to find the opportunity for making your relationship better, engaging deeper with your partner, or improve your communication.

3. Don’t assume, ask

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Sometimes we notice our partner’s behavior or hear a comment and we intuitively manufacture a story around it. This story becomes our new reality while it actually might be completely wrong. For instance, when our partner confirms that it’s okay for us to spend the weekend with our friends and we have a funny feeling that it is actually not okay. In this situation, asking and connecting with our partner might bring something else to the surface. Finding out about the true thoughts and feelings of our partner is a vital part of coping with stress in a relationship.

4. Accept that your relationship will change

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We need to understand that our relationship changes over time. Together, you and your partner develop and grow and so does your relationship. If shared adventures where a priority at the beginning of your journey, the priority might become security or family over time. Don’t fear the change and embrace it and you will have a less stressful relationship.

5. Focus on your wellbeing

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In a healthy relationship, we want our partner to succeed. So we sometimes cut back on our own desires just to see them happy. While this is essential in any deep relationship, too much of it can cause relationship stress. The goal is to find an equilibrium between compromises and our own needs. Only then can our relationship be stress-free.

Conclusion

You see, how you view the external forces in your relationship determines to a great extent how much stress you actually invite into your life. Observing these 5 stress coping strategies will help you to better cope with relationship stress and thus live a more relaxed life.

While our filter primarily focuses on how we interpret the external happenings in our relationship, there is a deeper level of coping with stress. It is how you view your role in the relationship, how you see your capabilities of being a good partner and how much trust you have in yourself. In short, your self-image.

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