Hello Dear One!
I'm here to bring you some powerful encouragement for your weekend!
This month we have been exploring the idea that stress can be helpful. If you have something really stressful that you’re dealing with in your life this idea can feel like a hard pill to swallow, so I want to give you some concrete examples to wrap your mind and heart around. I believe in this so much that I want to do everything I can to SHOW you how a positive stress mindset can change your life for the better!
So here we go! The first example I have for you of stress being helpful is this: couples who are willing to face the stress of (healthy) fighting are happier and more satisfied in their relationships!
You may be saying, “What?! How can this be true?”
Yup! It’s true! Couples who are willing to fight are happier in the long run! Of course, we are talking about a certain kind of fighting, where people feel free enough to vulnerably express their anger without letting it get out of control, or without shutting down, or shaming and blaming.
And we could take it a step further and say WOMEN who are willing to brave the stress of healthy fighting are in happier, more satisfying relationships, because research shows that women are the ones to usually bring up disagreements and make a couple confront their differences. You can read more about this awesome research here.
Why is this so important?
And what does a positive stress mindset have to do with Radical Self-Care?
Simply put, practicing a positive stress mindset IS powerful Radical Self-Care.
When we know that stress can be helpful, we are more likely to speak up about the issues that really matter to us. We are less likely to shrink back and hide our true feelings, needs, and desires.
We are willing to see confrontation as a LOVING act for ourselves and our relationships.
Without a positive stress mindset, we may find ourselves stuck in the role of 'people pleaser.' Or we may become too anxious, depressed, and overwhelmed to advocate for ourselves when something is bothering us. We may shut down and clam up, and fail to communicate our true feelings.
Guess what? If we do not communicate our true feelings, we are not giving the people in our lives a chance to respond to us and to meet our needs! They literally CANNOT meet our needs, because we did not give them the opportunity by confronting the issues that bother us, and letting them know what we need instead.
Relating is really hard work.
For us to be happy in relationships long term, we must first be devoted to ourselves! Meaning, we must be honest about what we really want, what we value, and what conflicts with our values. If we have an un-spoken agreement that we will not argue, or that arguments are bad, we will miss the opportunities to allow our deepest hearts and values to be SEEN, KNOWN, and LOVED.
What happens when we are too brittle and fearful to engage the stress of arguments or confrontations in our relationships?
We lose trust in our partners. Truthfully, we begin to lose trust in ourselves too, because we wonder what in the hell we are doing with someone who seems to be unable to love us the way we want and need to be loved.
We begin to close off. We lose sexual desire. We lose intimacy and connection. We become numb and apathetic. We begin to build walls between us and those we love. We no longer feel safe on the deepest level, because we are no longer convinced that this person is FOR US.
Here’s the flip side:
We choose to practice the disciplines of Radical Self-Care which include cultivating a positive stress mindset. We do not run from confrontation when we need to speak up about something that is bothering us. We allow our loved ones to learn more and more about us by speaking up, and refusing to shrink and hide just to ‘keep the peace.’
Over time, our relationships are DEEPER and STRONGER because we feel so incredibly SEEN and KNOWN. We cultivate deep trust between us. We have developed more confidence that we can weather storms together, which creates greater intimacy and devotion. Greater intimacy and devotion = more sexual desire and receptivity.
In a nutshell, happy relationships always start with Radical Self-Care.
Life is too short to go another day without giving yourself the attention, kindness, and nurturing you need into order to grow the courage and confidence that lets you be your whole self in relationship.
Have you already noticed that much of this can be applied to lots of different relationships and not just partnerships??
What do you think?
Are you ready to give it a try?
Here’s 3 Steps from our November Book of the Month to start practicing a positive stress mindset today:
And hey! I don’t want this to lose it’s power! If reading this is giving you some kind of feelings right now, comment below and let me know! Just a few lines! If you engage the feelings you are having RIGHT NOW, it is a form of taking action.
Action = change. Don’t wait.
I love you!
ps. Who do you know that needs to hear this today? Share it! Start some powerful conversations!
Wishing you the strength to fight the good, healthy fights!