Stress in Relationships: Do you have a voice?
Last e-zine’s focus was on self love as the ultimate relationship and how important self care is in demonstrating our worthiness and love for ourselves.
Following on that concept and the theme of love, let’s examine the stress that often happens in relationships, whether they are significant love relationships, as in marriage and partnerships or relationships with family members, co-workers, employers or friends.
The most common problem I hear from my clients regarding stress in their relationships is: they are not speaking up for themselves.
I call this not having a voice or not using your voice.
And the solution is: Finding your voice and speaking your voice.
Do any of these sound familiar?
I don’t want to “make waves”
Oh, it’s not that big of a deal (when really it is bugging you!)
I’m tired of taking care of everyone else
When do I get to be taken care of?
I don’t want to be a burden to anyone
I’m afraid what they’ll think of me (if I speak up for myself)
I feel guilty if I say no
I feel bad if I don’t help.
I just want to stay out of the radar.
If you’ve found yourself saying any of these types of statements to yourself regularly, you are likely feeling resentful, guilty, burned out or generally “out of sorts”.
Feeling “out of sorts” promotes more negative self talk. Negative self talk perpetuates more negative “out of sorts” feelings. Negative feelings cause distress. Distress is stressful.
If you are not speaking up for yourself, telling “your truth” or communicating in a healthy and authentic manner with others in your life, you are not having a voice in your relationships. Not having a voice causes stress.
Below are some tips for finding and speaking your voice and reducing stress in your relationships.
Give yourself some “quiet time”.
Even 10 minutes of simply sitting down and bringing your attention to your breathing can allow you to connect within.
Connecting within, allows you to know what it is you need.
Giving yourself some “connecting in” time tells your subconscious mind that you are worthy.
Giving yourself quiet time is giving a voice for your needs.
Imagine yourself as you want to be: mentally rehearse:
See and hear yourself using your voice in situations in a relationship where in the past you did not use your voice and that caused you distress
Imagine the scenario in all the details. Who is there, what you will say, how you are feeling (empowered, strong, confident) and how you will say it so you are being heard.
This detail is important, as you imagine and rehearse, as you want to create an opening for being heard.
Attacking or being defensive will only cause you to feel more distress, as well as alienate you from whom you are in relationship with.
The key is to be “enrolling” in your conversation, which means speaking from your authentic self, not the ego self that wants to be “right”.
Start with baby steps
If you are always doing the shopping, cooking the meals, cleaning the dishes and working at your business or a job, yet still feel guilty asking your husband, significant other or even children to take on some of the chores, then start off slowly. Take baby steps.
Determine for yourself (with quiet time) the one chore you can request of someone else.
You will begin to cultivate your voice with this one step.
As you keep practicing, step by step, you will keep building the muscle of your voice.
As you build that voice “muscle”, you will feel more aligned with your authentic self.
As you feel more aligned with your authentic self, you naturally feel better.
As you feel better, you naturally feel less stress in your relationships.
It all comes back to caring enough about YOU to create healthy boundaries, to speak from your authentic self to get your needs taken care of and to stop the cycle of denying your voice.
Use your voice, release stress in your relationships and be connected to your own special love songs with that beautiful and empowered voice.
If this is an area you’d like more support with, I’d love to support you in having a strong and powerful voice that will keep you engaged in finding more joy and less stress in all your relationships, especially the one with yourself.
Let me know your thoughts on this article. I’m all ears. Speak your voice (via typing!). Leave your comments below!