Understanding the causes and effects of workplace stress is important to developing strategies for change. The critical component of any stress management program is the belief that alternatives exist. Feeling trapped and without choices, is perhaps the greatest stressor of all.
There are two ways to approach stress management in the workplace. You can reduce environmental stressors in the workplace and/or change your response to this stress. Discussing your concerns and suggestions with a supervisor often yields positive results.
My suggestions for change include:
- Be appropriately assertive and don’t feel guilty about setting boundaries and limits; say no when necessary.
- Recognize that stressful situations often result from someone else’s inefficiency and tendency to manage by reactive, crisis techniques rather than proactive postures.
- Personal problems can cause individuals to function in an unhealthy way. In these situations, recognize that you did not cause the problems and are not responsible for their consequences. Seek support from others in order to clarify your position and avoid being a scapegoat.
- Practice relaxation skills and avoid using unhealthy escape mechanisms such as alcohol or drugs. Exercise is an excellent way to deal with stress and the biochemical effects of tension and pressure. Take a brisk walk at lunch or exercise regularly after work.
- Become more efficient with your time and learn to avoid “time-wasters” such as unnecessary phone calls, “drop-ins”, and gossiping. Strive to maintain a focus and agenda, and be a leader who is committed to keep things moving during meetings.
If your stressful workplace situation is unchangeable, and the toll it is taking on you is too great, then seeking options of other employment may be necessary. Changing jobs for the right reason is nothing to be ashamed of and may lead to a much healthier situation in the long run.
They might be 30, or 75. They come in all colors, shapes, sizes and income brackets. It doesn’t matter how long they’ve been together. Whatever the demographics, when you see a happy couple, you just know it!
How do these couples stay in love, in good times and in bad? Fortunately, the answer isn’t through luck or chance. As a result of hard work and commitment, they figure out the importance of the following relationship “musts.” Because few couples know about all of the musts, I think of them as the relationship “secrets.”
Happy Couples and Their Secrets
1. Develop a realistic view of committed relationships.
Recognize that the crazy infatuation you experienced when your romance was new won’t last. A deeper, richer relationship, and one that should still include romance, will replace it. A long-term relationship has ups and downs, and expecting it will be all sunny and roses all the time is unrealistic.
2. Work on the relationship.
An untended garden develops weeds that can ultimately kill even the heartiest plants. And so it is with relationships. It is important to address problems and misunderstandings immediately. Some people believe good relationships just happen naturally. The truth is that a good relationship, like anything you want to succeed in life, must be worked on and tended to on a regular basis. Neglect the relationship, and it will often go downhill.
3. Spend time together.
There is no substitute for shared quality time. When you make a point of being together, without kids, pets and other interruptions, you will form a bond that will get you through life’s rough spots. Time spent together should be doing a shared activity, not just watching television.
4. Make room for “separateness.”
Perhaps going against conventional wisdom, spending time apart is also an important component of a happy relationship. It is healthy to have some separate interests and activities and to come back to the relationship refreshed and ready to share your experiences. Missing your partner helps remind you how important he or she is to you.
5. Make the most of your differences.
Stop and think: What most attracted you to your partner at the beginning? I’ll almost guarantee that it was exactly the thing that drives you most insane today. Take a fresh look at these differences. Try to focus on their positive aspects and find an appreciation for those exact things that make the two of you different from one another. It’s likely that your differences balance one another out and make you a great team.
6. Don’t expect your partner to change; but at the same time give them more of what they want.
If both you and your partner stop trying to change each other, you will eliminate the source of most of your arguments. At the same time, each of you should focus on giving one another more of what you know the other person wants, even if it doesn’t come naturally. For instance, instead of complaining how your partner never cleans out the dishwasher, try just doing it yourself once in awhile without complaint. Your partner will likely notice your effort and make more of an effort themselves around the house. If you do both of these things at once you’ve got a winning plan!
Most people have experienced jealousy at some point in their life. We usually know how to identify the emotion when it appears in ourselves, and we are fairly good at telling when others experience jealousy on the basis of their actions. But what exactly is jealousy?
On a traditional model in evolutionary psychology, jealousy is an inherited response that once increased our chances of survival. Men, it has been argued, exhibit jealousy primarily in response to sexual threats to the relationships they are in. The reason for this supposedly is that only those of our male ancestors who were the actual father of the children they provided for were guaranteed to have their DNA passed on. Women, on the other hand, exhibit jealousy primarily in response to emotional threats to the relationships they are in. The reason for this allegedly is that only those of our female ancestors who had someone to provide the food for their children had children that would survive, increasing the chance that their DNA would get passed on. This eventually gave rise to men with a sex-jealousy gene and women with an emotional-jealousy gene.
There are many problems with this account of jealousy. One is that it jealousy isn’t equally pronounced in all cultures, which suggests that even if it does have a genetic root, it also has a strong social component. In other words, jealousy is partly cultivated.
As I have argued elsewhere, the evolutionary root of jealousy may not be sexual or emotional competition but the endowment effect. The endowment effect is our inherited tendency to assign greater economic value to something already in our possession than to something that we don’t own. The endowment effect by itself does not fully explain jealousy. The further factor, which is cultural, is the tendency to consider our partners our sexual and emotional property, providing us with exclusive rights to sex and intimacy with them.
This latter explanation captures the evolutionary basis of jealousy as well as the fact that its intensity and frequency can vary quite dramatically across culture. What it shares in common with the traditional evolutionary account is the idea that jealousy is a response either to the threat of losing one’s partner or not being the father of one’s children.
The idea that jealousy is a response to the threat of losing one’s partner is likely the characterization that best fits most people’s experiences of jealousy today. But what sort of response is it?
One suggestion is that jealousy is a fear response to the threat of losing one’s partner. But that cannot be quite right. If you know that your partner has terminal cancer, you may experience fear in response to the impending death. But you do not experience jealousy.
Another better suggestion is that jealousy is a fear response to the threat of losing one’s partner to another person. But jealousy seems to involve more than just fear. Anecdotally, at least, people who experience jealousy often report experiencing sadness, disgust and rage, among many other basic (or complex) emotions. Fear by itself does not automatically trigger this vast array of emotions.
Another plausible account of jealousy is that it involves fear of losing one’s partner to another person, and resentment of or indignation at the fact that the partner (and/or the sexual/emotional competitor) has put you into this insecure state. When sufficiently intense, this sort of response can trigger e.g. feelings of disgust, sadness and/or rage.
One potential objection to this, rough, account of jealousy is that one can be jealous even when there is no actual threat to the relationship. A partner may be jealous when you meet with your childhood friend, even though there is no chance that your friendship could ever develop into something more (maybe you grew up together and consider each other siblings of sorts).
“What ruins relationships and causes most fights is insecurity.”— Olivia Wilde
We’ve all been insecure at one time or another. Insecurity is an inner feeling of being threatened and/or inadequate in some way. While it’s quite normal to have feelings of self-doubt once in a while, chronic insecurity can sabotage your success in life and be particularly damaging to your intimate relationships. It robs you of your peace and prevents you from being able to engage with your partner in a relaxed and authentic way. The actions that come from insecurity—such as always asking for reassurance, jealousy, accusing, and snooping—erode trust, aren’t attractive and can push the other person away.
While many people tend to think that insecurity comes from something their partner said or did, the reality is that most insecurity comes from inside ourselves. The feeling of insecurity can start early in life with an insecure attachment to your parents, or can develop after being hurt or rejected by someone you care about. Insecurities are maintained and built upon when you negatively compare yourself to other people and harshly judge yourself with critical inner dialogue. The majority of relationship insecurity is based on irrational thoughts and fears: that you are not good enough, that you will not be OK without a partner, that you will never find anyone better, that you are not truly lovable.
When you start to notice that sinking feeling of insecurity there are a few things you can do:
1. Take stock of your value. When you feel insecure, you are often focused on something you feel is lacking about you. In most well-matched relationships each partner brings different qualities and strengths that compliment the other. It is possible to be equals in different ways. In order to feel more secure in a relationship it helps to know what you have to offer to the other person. You don’t have to be rich or beautiful to offer something—personality characteristics are far more important to the overall quality of a relationship. Think about the traits you have as a person: nice, trustworthy, funny, kind, good communicator. These are traits most people value in their partner. And think about how you make the other person’s life better. Do you make them feel loved, supported, and happy? These are things everyone wants to feel in a relationship, but many often don’t. Focus on what you offer instead of what you feel you lack; this will change your perspective. If the other person doesn’t appreciate what you have to offer, that’s his or her loss.
2. Build your self-esteem. Research shows that people with more relationship insecurities tend to have poorer self-esteem. When you aren’t feeling good about who you are on the inside, it is natural to want to look outside of yourself for validation. However, trying to feel good by getting approval from your partner is a losing situation for any relationship. When your well-being depends on someone else, you give away all of your power. A healthy partner won’t want to carry this kind of burden and it can push him or her away. Feeling good about who you are is a win-win for the relationship. You get to enjoy the sense of well-being that comes with genuinely liking yourself, and self-confidence is an attractive quality that makes your partner want to be closer to you.
Building your self-esteem isn’t as difficult as it may seem. Building self-confidence comes with experience, but there are two steps you can take that will rapidly improve how you feel about yourself, Learn to silence your inner critic and practiceself-compassion, and retrain yourself to focus on the aspects of yourself you like instead of the ones you don’t like.
Your significant other just ended your relationship. A natural reaction to this experience is to do everything in your power to undo the damage. You think you want your ex back. Think again. Tread carefully. Here are five reasons you may not want your ex back*.
Reason #1. You are surprised, angry, sad, hurt and feeling rejected. These symptoms are classical grief symptoms. If your boyfriend had died, it would be impossible to get him back, and it would not be his fault that you are grieving. But now that he is out there alive and well, it is his fault. It is a decision he has made. He made it for a good reason. Your relationship was not working. Why would you want your relationship back if it wasn’t working? Why would you want an ex back who doesn’t want you? Treat it like a case of grief that you need to get over rather than trying to get back together with your ex.
Reason #2. If you were to implement all the tricks and tactics available on the internet for getting your ex back, and you succeeded against all odds, you would be going back to something that didn’t work-at least not for him and most likely not for you either. You would end up being a doormat. Or a nervous wrack walking on eggshells. Granted, ou miss his kisses, his good morning text messages, the wining and dining. But what part of it do you really miss? What you really miss could be the kisses, the “good morning” text messages, and the wining and dining. It may not be him. It may seem that way. But once you clear your head, you may realize that you miss the events, not him in particular.
Reason #3. You may still be in shock and denial about your past relationship but once you clear your head, you can probably list a good number of really bad things that happened in your relationship, ranging from arguments to the silent treatment or worse. When we are broken up with, we tend to focus on the breezy early good memories from when we were head-over-heals in love. But that is unlikely to be the state of your relationship towards the end of it. Do you really want your relationship back as it was toward the end of it? Probably not. You want the beginning. But the thing is, the beginning cannot reoccur. It only occurs when your hormones and neurotransmitters are completely out of wrack, and you are crazy madly in love, because everything is new. Things cannot be new now, not now… maybe in six months or two years, but not now.
Reason #4. If you really managed to get back together right now, do you think your relationship would last? It is very unlikely. Neither of you would have changed your behaviors and bad habits. You will just repeat past mistakes. You might be able to force yourself to behave differently for a few weeks but then when things settle down, you go back to your old habits. Then you break up and you will then need to start the grieving process all over.
Reason #5. Maybe you read on the internet that you just need some time apart. The negative emotions need to die down. Your ex is angry, and once he stops being angry, he will realize what a mistake he has made. In the meantime you can improve and become a much better version of yourself. Right? Wrong. No 30, 60 or 90 days of no contact or space can heal a broken relationship. Granted, it can make anger dissipate and make people nostalgic. But it cannot fix deep problems in relationships. Most likely the two of you are simply incompatible right now. It will take a lot of experience interacting with other people before you can possibly embark on a new and healthier relationship with your ex. But when that time comes, you may not want your ex-partner back anymore.
When it comes to love, we want it all: sparks, butterflies and that feeling of being obsessed with another person. But we also want lasting love, security and healthy routines.
The problem with having these desires is that they cannot normally be satisfied simultaneously. What makes you feel head-over-heals in love is in part newness, insecurity and unpredictability. But most long-term relationships do not have a whole lot of newness, insecurity and unpredictability. Long-term relationships are not meant to be built on an unstable foundation. They are meant to be your secure base, the place you return to for support when you are experiencing problems at work or go through illness or loss.
Yet it is often when the newness, insecurity and unpredictability wears off that relationships fall apart, when we no longer are in a state of love insanity, when things become routine and begin to feel a little too comfortable. What can we do about this paradox that has plagued mankind throughout history?
We can engage in serial monogamy, as most people do. But is there a way to avoid relationship-hopping? Can we learn to appreciate our partner without the sparks and fireworks? Clearly, some people manage to. What is their secret?
Relationships go through stages. A typical relationship begins with the head-over-heals sparks and fireworks phase, where the other person cannot do anything wrong and where we cannot think of anything better than being in their company. This phase wears off. How soon it wears off varies a lot, depending on people’s circumstances. But it inevitably wears off.
This is the point where we enter into a phase of conflict. We start to see the other person’s flaws. We no longer feel we will die if we cannot see our partner for a while. The phase of conflict is also where the arguments and fights tend to start. We need to learn to solve problems with our partner and to negotiate, because no two human beings want exactly the same things.
If the relationship survives the phase of conflict, attachment love is likely to develop.Attachment love is a different kind of love from new wild romantic love. It is more closely related to the kind of love you feel for a child, a parent or a close friend. It typically does not involve feelings of wonder all the time. When things go well, it is a comfortable kind of love, and it is the sort of love that can last a lifetime.
We often think attachment love feels wrong. It is not intense. It doesn’t control us. For that reason we often come to the conclusion that we don’t really want to build a romantic relationship on basis of attachment love. But if there is no alternative, could it be that we ought to learn to appreciate it instead of fighting it?
Statistics show that some couples learn to appreciate attachment love. Appreciating this type of love requires accepting that it doesn’t feel the same way as that all-consuming new love that most romantic relationships are initially based on. But it also requires identifying the advantages that attachment love has in comparison to all-consuming new love.
Attachment love can be a good thing to build a long-term relationship on, but only if both parties learn to appreciate it. If your partner pushes you away because things don’t feel the same anymore, then your relationship will be unlikely to survive.
Couples tend to get a lot of attention when they make the transition to parenthood. But when couples decide they want to have more children and extend the family, they don’t get the same level of support.
Evidence does suggest that couples who plan to have a second child have a strong ability to keep their relationship strong and are therefore more likely to stay together. However, that doesn’t mean that couples who are planning baby number don’t need any help.
Read on for tips on how to cope with a growing family
Making the decision together
The happiest couples with children tend to be those who make a joint decision to become parents. If both parents share the same intentions and both are actively involved in the decision making process, then they tend to handle the experience of a growing family much better.
If you want to have more children try sitting down together and planning what you want. Consider the following:
- how many children do you imagine having?
- how far apart would you ideally like the children to be born?
- what sort of role do you imagine playing in the upbringing of future children? Will the balance of care giving change?
You may also want to discuss how day-to-day things will change. Consider how you will manage caring for the first and second child, how you will split chores, how your sleeping patterns will be affected and how you will schedule ‘couple time’.
Children are rather expensive to care for so when an extra child comes along, money will become even tighter.
Men typically tend to spend more time at work when a family grows – this can also cause strain on the couple and family relationships.
If you’re planning to have another child, or are currently expecting another child, it may be worth considering the following:
- Can both of you work if you have more children?
- Will one partner be expected to work extra hours in order to provide?
- Are you able to afford childcare?
- Are relatives or trusted friends available to help provide childcare if you can’t cover the cost?
Despite some misconceptions, young disabled people have active sex lives. Some studies suggest that disabled adolescents may even be at greater risk of having unsafe sex.
Dating, sex, and romance are a standard part of many young people’s lives. However, most of us who’ve been through it or are going through it will recognise that sexuality can be very complicated and highly personal.
If you are a young person with a long-term illness or disability, it might feel like there’s a whole extra bundle of complications thrown in.
Disability can be associated with factors like social stigma and a reliance on the support of others, all of which can get in the way of how you meet new people and develop relationships . You may also have important routines around medication and treatments that affect how you manage your free time .
Many young disabled people have also expressed fear around being rejected by potential partners, worrying that they might not be considered attractive or won’t be thought of as a romantic partner .
Getting on just fine
However, despite evidence to suggest things might be trickier, some research suggests that disabled people are getting on just fine when it comes to sex and relationships.
While some studies showed relatively low sexual activity among young disabled people , others showed only minor differences between adolescents with and without disabilities when it comes to having sex, exploring sexual orientation, and the age of first sexual experiences .
It depends largely on the type of illness or disability you are dealing with. In one example, a study showed that young people with diabetes defined their relationship more by companionship than by physical intimacy and that relationships were more likely to last longer .
As teenagers, we are still figuring out who we are, and what we want from life. We are forging our adult identities, and our romantic relationships set the tone for the future.
Finding out you’re going to become a young parent plunges you into another major life transition just as you’re figuring out how to deal with the rest of life’s struggles . Ensuring you have the right support in place can make all the difference.
If you’re in a relationship, the increased stress of pregnancy and raising a child can lead to putting extra strain on the relationship. One study found nearly half of young parents’ relationships had broken up by the time the child was a year old . You can protect against this by knowing about the factors that keep relationships strong, and where to get extra support.
Just having a partner can be beneficial to you as a parent. Studies have shown that young mums supported by their partners feel more satisfied with their lives, have higher self-esteem, and are less likely to be stressed . They are also likely to feel more ready for parenthood.
However, if you don’t have a partner, you needn’t despair. Research shows that single young parents who have good support from their parents and other family members can also report feeling more satisfied with their lives, and are less likely to be depressed or anxious.
Even if you don’t have support from your family, you can still feel the benefits of external support by connecting with other young parents or expectant parents through online forums. This kind of social support and parenting advice is also linked to stronger wellbeing, so it’s worth seeking support wherever you can get it.
To protect against the breakdown of a relationship, it’s important to think about relationship quality. Evidence shows that the good bits of your relationship not only protect against breakup, but also help you feel more confident as a parent. This is true even if your partner isn’t the child’s biological parent .
A positive relationship between you and your partner is also good for your child, as they are less likely to be exposed to conflict and stress .
A strong sense of mutual love and attraction can often be enough to protect your relationship, but if you want to do something to make things stronger, consider upping your relationship equity. This means that you both make an equal contribution to the relationship. You can do this by sharing chores and childcare, but also by showing equal affection and support .
If your relationship breaks down, and you’re not getting the support you need from family and friends, you can try visiting the young parents section of the Family Lives website or using our forums to ask for tips and social support from other young parents.
A miscarriage is an incredibly painful and emotional time for couples.
A report written by OnePlusOne, featuring interviews with couples who had gone through one or more miscarriages revealed how different couples deal with the loss of their unborn child.
One participant in the study said that after two miscarriages, she and her partner experienced a lot of severe relationship difficulties.
‘When you go on the down side after a miscarriage, you just don’t want to know. Everybody is to blame and the person you are with gets it the worst. I’d often go and sleep on my own, and make the excuse that our son was waking up at night. I think the only factor that kept us together at times was the fact that we had a son. We were both quite committed to him.’
Others feel like communication breaks down between the two of them, which can leave them feeling helpless at times: ‘You know there’s only so much asking you can do and if she’s not ready to talk then that’s it.’
However, it is more commonly reported that miscarriages can help a couple become closer.
Some participants in the OnePlusOne study described miscarriage as an experience in which they could both share and support one another equally. Couples also say a miscarriage is different to other issues such as the death of a parent, where one partner is being supported and the other provides support.
Following his partner’s miscarriage, one participant said that their relationship ‘had been made a lot stronger.