When Life Stress Creates Barriers in Our Relationships

Jul 16, 2020

When Life Stress Creates Barriers in Our Relationships

Thanks for being here with me again this week as we explore some of the challenges that show up when it comes to our relationships and the REAL barriers that keep us from creating the results we deeply want.

I’ve been wondering..

Do you find yourself feeling frustrated because the stress of life is getting in between you and your most important relationships?  

Does it feel like stress takes over your experience and causes you to say things or behave in ways you later regret?

You may find that this cycle is chipping away at the confidence you have to create fulfilling, lasting connections – leaving you doubtful and discouraged.

I want to dive deeper into this conversation with you.

Let me begin with a story…

Quinton, my husband, and I had just gotten home. We were about to have a couple hours with just the two of us, the boys had gone to be with friends.

I went and picked up some tacos, excited we had some time to spend together. It was a rare occurrence these days. 

As I pulled in the driveway I was wrapping up a conversation with a friend that left me feeling super anxious and stressed.

Without realizing it I brought all that energy right into the room with me when I walked in the door.

What I was feeling had nothing to do with Quinton and I. 

But now, the cloud of anxiety that had consumed me was filling up my kitchen and impacting the interactions with Q.

I wanted to enjoy our time together, but truthfully, I wasn’t sure how to shift what had already happened.

I didn’t know how to get out of it. 

We even tried talking about what happened with the intention of letting it out in the open so we might move on. It wasn’t working.

Then Quinton did something unexpected..

He walked outside for a minute.

Came back in.

Walked straight up to me and put his hands on my shoulders.

And said…“Let’s not let this get in between us.”

And in that moment. Everything stopped.

All the stress I was carrying lifted off of me.

I was reminded of what’s most important. It was a bigger vision that we could grab onto when life gets hard.

A long time ago, we both declared that the well-being of our marriage was far more important than the stress of life and whatever might be happening in the world.

I found myself able to shake out of the funk and brought my focus back to our time together. We carried on with setting the table for tacos and just being together.

Another tidbit about this particular evening was that after tacos, we had planned to give recording our first podcast together a go. For a moment, it didn’t seem like that was going to happen.

When the air cleared and we were able to get back to our evening, the opportunity to record appeared again. We ended up having so much fun and ended up taking this picture to bookmark the moment.

We both felt amazing at the end of our time together.

This redirection of our evening would have never happened without an interruption and moment of pause. I had the space to choose what I was going to make a priority in that exact moment.

Which brings us to the first Barrier Breakthrough I want to bring to your attention in this series of conversations:

Pause to ask yourself – what is MOST important in this moment?

This may seem like an obvious thing to do and it may even be something you’ve heard before – but let me ask you this, are you putting the pause into practice?

When you are able to take the time to remember what it is you value most (for me it is capturing and being present with those I love, each and every moment I can,) when we make that mental shift and move that most important piece to the forefront of our mind, it can make all the difference in the world for you, the other person, and your overall life experience.

When you shift your focus, you take the power away from the thought that’s dragging you down and you shift it over to what really matters most.

It’s important to look at the hierarchy we operate by.

We all move through our lives and inside of our relationships with this system – we just might not be aware of it. 

You can begin this exploration by making a list of what you view as your priorities at the moment.

Then, the next time you find yourself triggered by life and you can feel the tension of that seeping into your relationships, you can pause, recall your list of what’s most important and check-in with yourself. 

Is my focus right now on what is actually most important to me? Or am I responding from my stress.

Know that this is a practice that builds upon itself over time. The more you practice it, the better you will become at identifying when the stresses are showing up and taking over.

With that kind of self-awareness, and self-listening doesn’t necessarily become “easier” but it does click in your mind a lot faster – “oh ya, my priorities are misaligned, let me adjust.” 

Have patience with yourself and this process.

Even just being here today and remembering what is most important to you is a step in the right direction.

If today’s Barrier Breakthrough is speaking to your heart and you grasp the concept, but would like some assistance in application I’d love to have you sign up for a complimentary call with me so we can dive a little deeper into what this conversation brought up for you!

Talk to You Soon,

RELATED POST | Overcoming Barriers in Our Relationships

Ready for different?

Never miss a beat with personal notes straight to your inbox. Simple ideas + inspiration to help you rethink what’s possible.


My Mission

I love it. I live it. I teach it.