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Volatile Times

Have the crazy swings of the stock market made you anxious?  How about the random shootings or the government’s decision-making and policies?  Our stressful world and volatile times can wear us down and if we’re not careful trigger depression, anxiety, and/or overwhelming fear.  Sometimes we overreact which results in added stress and inner turmoil.  Our overreaction can also result in an impulsive or poor action that can have negative consequences.  Unfortunately when people feel “out of control” they often want to take immediate action to eliminate the feelings of helplessness and powerlessness.  However when things around us are rapidly and unpredictably changing, often this is a time to be still and to reflect.  This helps us realize that often all we really have control over are our reactions.

Think about how this applies to relationships.  Feelings of being out of control often result in helplessness and powerlessness which can motivate us to either lash out or detach.  For example, if your partner makes a decision independent of your input, you may be inclined to attack which only provides them with more ammunition for not including you in the decision-making process.  Others may shut down, detach, and may decide to be passive aggressive and operate independently on other decisions.  When our emotions are heightened we are less inclined to solve problems and conflicts effectively.  Often I encourage couples to acknowledge their emotions, validate each other feelings, before proceeding to problem-solving solutions.  So what are healthy and constructive ways to deal with volatility, emotional turmoil, and stress in relationships?

Remind yourselves that you’re both looking for peace, happiness, and connectedness.  Hopefully you also accept that you’re allies and not adversaries, and do not have intention to hurt or harm each other.  Life is stressful enough without the added stress of an unhealthy and destructive relationship.  Commit to generating positive solutions to your conflicts and stop being defensive or blaming each other since that keeps you stuck.  Identify ways to work as a team and build each other up by acknowledging the person’s value and worth in the relationship  Seek stability in life by having a consistent workout routine, regular sleep schedule, weekly date night, daily prayer, time to connect with friends, and limit your media time.  Carve out time to acknowledge the good in your life and be grateful for what you have.

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