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How does stress affect the family?

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How does stress affect the family?

Most of the time, stress is present in our daily lives. We take it from work to home and vice versa. Our children, unfortunately are the ones to pay for this dilemma. Also, our partners might end up being contaminated, to the point of putting the relationship and the family’s emotional health at risk. Today’s topic of discussion is ‘how does stress affect the family?

When we talk about stress, it is not fundamentally necessary to think that it is a ‘one size fits all’ situation. You and I, will each have an extensive list of problems, we face daily, such as conflicts with our partners, financial difficulties, problems with children, illnesses, etc.

Related Article: Stress the main enemy of Women’s Health

In today’s hectic society, stress is very common. There are so many demands on us, and the expectations of success, happiness, and wellbeing is becoming difficult to achieve with the passage of time.

Job competitiveness, social pressures, and the unattainable struggle to improve the economic situation in which we live, is getting far more attention, than our emotional wellbeing itself.

When we refer to stress, we are speaking of a physiological reaction in which an individual’s defence mechanism is activated to face a situation that is perceived as threatening.

This phenomenon affects everyone regardless of socioeconomic status, age, sex, or employment status.

We all know that ‘anything in excess is bad’. This therefore means that a moderate degree of stress is necessary to motivate us to be able to move through life and respond to all the daily demands. Living in a permanent state of stress is damaging to our health and wellbeing.

Stress is a natural and necessary response for survival, which can be a problem, if it becomes a regular part of our daily routine. Constant exposure to stress will trigger serious health problems and produce a ‘Tension Overload’ in the body leading to the appearance of ailments such gastritis and headaches.

Read: Effects of Stress in Men

Other effects of stress on the body includes constant changes in mood, nervousness, problems concentrating, feeling irritable and vulnerable. These can generate significant problems in the family setting, with children being, most of the time, the most affected.

A lack of concentration caused by stress can be displayed as anger, which can block our ideas and productivity, thereby, producing fear. This can even manifest itself in violent behaviours, which will affect the family environment and generate even more stress.

Stress can affect a family’s health and wellbeing and if not properly managed, it can be ‘contagious’. This means that when someone manifest it within the family, s(he) can easily transmit it another person, because it is very difficult to suffer from stress without affecting others within the home.

Recommended: Understanding the Stress Response

All the individuals, who make up the family environment of a person who is going through a stressful situation, must learn to manage the series of symptoms, signs, and emotional disorders that this condition entails.

How does stress affect family relationships?

Every family reacts differently to stress, but some of the most apparent effects include disputes, bad conversation skills and fights. Burnout, health difficulties, and endless confusion (particularly in kids) about relationships with other family members can be apparent.

Stress and parenting

Too much stress can harm the state of a parent-child bond. Maintaining any relationship demands concrete attention and having an open mind to listen and understand the other person’s point of view.

When parents are easily triggered into overreaction, kids either copy this reaction or attain the less obvious communication methods which can affect their social skills later in life.

Communicate non-violently

Families do not always succeed in avoiding stress. That is why Marshall B. Rosenberg, an American psychologist, developed the concept of nonviolent communication. His model is based on four steps:

  1. Observation: In the event of a conflict, it is important to observe the situation, but not to evaluate it. Do not act “from the gut.”
  2. Feeling: The observation can trigger a perceptible feeling.
  3. Need: The feeling in turn, leads to a need such as security or contact with other people.
  4. Please: This request can be derived from a need. According to Rosenberg, requests are very specific to actions, while needs are more general.

Necessary Read: Tips and Exercises to manage Childhood Stress

Final Thought

No one can be prevented from experiencing stress. Identify the triggers. Breathe, learn and accept the situation. Take a day at time. Forgive yourself and be kind to your family and friends. Remember that life is just too short.

Thanks for reading. Stay safe and see you in the next post.

Yvette Mayemelle Kaba
Yvette Mayemelle Kaba
Founder of UIC | Wife | Mum of Two | Inspirational Writer | Mentor | Aspiring Entrepreneur

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