Thursday, June 24, 2010

Stress, conflict in relationships

I know it has taken a toll on my health. Read what says here.

Conflict Can Affect Your Health

Relationship conflict can negatively affect your health in several ways. Portland State University’s Institute on Aging studied over 650 adults over a two-year period and found that ‘stable negative social exchanges’ (in other words, repetitive or prolonged conflict) was significantly associated with lower self-rated health, greater functional limitations, and a higher number of health conditions. This may be due to the impact that stress has on immunity (stress can dampen your immune system), as well as other factors. The important thing to remember is that ongoing conflict really can take a toll on your health.

.... there is a lack of comfort in dealing with conflict among family members. Whether it’s open conflict over the dinner table or an underlying feeling of discomfort that remains unspoken, family conflict obviously causes a significant amount of stress with a lot of people.
What can be done without adding stress to these people? How can you get out of it when you just keep getting bombarded with people telling you you are doing it wrong?

And what about dealing with difficult people from a Christian perspective?
We can't control difficult people and we can't change them, but with God's guidance we can understand them better and find a way to cope with them. More here.
I find blogging helps me. Perhaps this is what is being said here:

Sometimes stressful situations can seem to stick with us. Most of us find ourselves ruminating or holding onto negative feelings we have about stressors or conflicts in our lives at one time or another. Unfortunately, this tendency can prolong the stress that we experience. Here are some proven strategies for letting go of rumination, letting go of anger, and holding onto peace.

Expressive Writing

Some people write an angry letter that they later burn. Others write about their feelings and brainstorm solutions. A few even write books or short stories that express their feelings and combat rumination. Regardless of the form it takes, many people have found journaling and expressive writing helpful in letting go of stress and negative emotions. Research confirms that expressive writing can be helpful for the stressed: One study showed that expressive writing was effective in reducing symptoms of depression among those with a tendency toward brooding and rumination.
I need to let go and sometimes you have to get it out. I don't write "at" but I do express my thoughts. Unfortunately some readers internalize what I say and assume it is directed critically at them, or they just think I should do it differently. Maybe being more private about this is better, so I'll probably put more into the private blogs I have and not assume anyone out there really cares anyway. So, instead of people being offended by what I say or feel they need to knit-pick, I can just release it on my own. The blog will be out there but people I know won't have the address. I think they like me better when they don't know what I think/feel. I do need to deal with the stress that is making me ill.


  1. I like knowing what you think and feel -- if you want to share the address with me :-) I will tell you that for the last six months or so I've done a lot of good old-fashioned, pen-and-paper journal writing, and it has been truly therapeutic. I hadn't kept a private journal for YEARS. One day Brian came home with a nice journal for me, and in the first sitting I wrote 18 pages. I re-learned that when I write only for myself I am able to deal with a lot of hidden feelings -- sometimes I didn't even know what I thought until I wrote it, and writing it down REALLY helped me deal with it. It's probably the most helpful thing I've done for myself in years.

  2. Adding to what Ashlie said . . .

    If you write it down now, in a place where other people can't argue with it, then someday, when you're dead, those people who don't appear to care what you think, or how you feel, or who you are NOW will still have the chance to find out who you really were.

    It's not the best thing that could happen, but it beats being invisible both now and in the future.

    And, if it helps you get your own thoughts in order and helps you feel better then it's a great thing.

    If I did that, however, (just writing down my own thoughts and never exposing them to anyone else for some feedback), I think most people I know would have grave concerns that I would just be reinforcing what I already believe about life and people and I wouldn't be exposing myself to any new thoughts from others that might help me find happiness.

    I imagine that the best course lies somewhere in the middle . . . keeping some things to myself and not spilling my guts about everything I think or feel. Maybe that would also be true for you.

  3. Let it all out, Mom. Why am I the only one in this family that seems to understand this concept fully? Be yourself. Other people will hate it. Some people will love it. But YOU will be at peace with YOU, and that's all you can ask for when it comes to these kinds of things. Serving others is good, but pleasing others is impossible. Say what you need to say. (One of my favorite songs, btw.)


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