We have been talking about how stress can cause us to become short-tempered and emotional. So let’s go into a bit more detail on that, and about how stress affects relationships.
Stress affects our family life. Think about your family, the people with whom you live out your daily life, and share your most intimate moments.
Stress’s effect on daily activities
To explore how being in a chronic state of stress can affect relationships with family, think about a special activity that you may have done recently with your husband or wife and kids. Maybe you took a boat ride together, or maybe you went on a family hike. When you reminisce about this time that you spent with your family, do you recall a feeling of pleasure and ease?
Or do you remember feeling short-tempered at the kids, because perhaps they wouldn’t listen to what you said? Overall, maybe you secretly thought it would have been more fun not to have your family with you on this supposed pleasure outing?
Stress Changes Perception
It’s so easy for stress to change our perception of things. Remember that walking into a situation like this when you’re feeling stressed can turn an otherwise enjoyable time into family arguments, brooding and misery. Again, your feelings are bound to factor in.
The point is that if you’re already feeling chronically stressed based on something else that is happening in your life, you will be more likely to lash out at family members and overreact to minor incidents. This can have the effect of causing other people to also feel your stress. It can turn an otherwise pleasant time into something uncomfortable which may even cause family members to dread future activities such as this if they are to happen again.
Stress Affects Performance
Another way to identify how stress can affect the people around us is to think about a time at work when your boss or a co-worker (or several co-workers) faced a stressful situation. How did others’ facial expressions, manner of speaking, tone of voice, body language, and the content of whatever was said impact your own performance at work that day? Did their stress rub off on you? Did you, too, begin to feel a sense of anxiousness?
What happened that day, and what was your reaction to the way that your boss or coworkers may have been acting or speaking during that stressful time? Did your boss or coworkers get loud? Did they become demanding? Did they interrupt what you were doing to vent, or to shift your priorities to something that they felt was more important? Did you begin to feel stressed out after dealing with them?
If your coworkers are people who seem to be affected by stress on a routine basis, how does this in turn cause you to react? Do you enjoy where you work?
Or, if you stay at home, does this stressful situation at home impact you? If you can remember a time when someone seemed to be emotionally distraught or triggered and it affected you, then recall that at those times when you too feel stressed, the people around you may also feel it.