Family Stress
Learning to Deal with Unresolved Conflict

Family stress is inevitable. Every family experiences times when stress is abundant and many times overwhelming.

More than anything, it is our reaction to that stress that matters most and will have the biggest impact on our relationships as well as our own mental and physical health.

There are so many different reasons why people experience family stress.

Most times the stress a family goes through together in life is what helps them grow closer in the end. As we mature and learn together, stress can be a good thing.

However, when stress involves family conflict, the reactions we have can result in great distress and cause emotional distance between the closest family relationships.

With family, there is always some degree of change that is required as we grow and mature together. Change is not always easy but necessary.

It's easy to have conflict when we see the people we love change in ways we feel is inappropriate or destructive. It's also easy to become distressed, anxious and even depressed when the person you once knew begins to change in ways you never anticipated.

What can you do?

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Although dealing with conflict in family stress is difficult, there are things you can do that will help you overcome many of the negative emotions that you may go through.

Try to solve the conflict. Do your best to resolve family stress together. Talk about it openly. If you notice someone in your family making bad choices, it's your obligation to help them see where they are heading. However, you must recognize that ultimately, it is their choices and decisions that will win.

Make the choice to let go. Realize that everyone is their own person. You cannot change anyone but yourself. I know it's not easy because you want to do all you can to help that person change, but trying to do so may cause more harm than good in a relationship.

It can be so hard to let go when you see someone self-destructing or making choices you believe are unfavorable, but holding on to something you cannot change will only make you sick emotionally and physically.

So how do you let go especially when you love so deeply?

Letting go must be a deliberate choice that you make for yourself. This does not mean you love them any less than you did before. It just means that you acknowledge their personal right to choose for themselves how they will live and who they will become.

Make the choice to accept. Make the deliberate choice to accept what you cannot change. When a family member is old enough to make their own decisions they have to learn firsthand that every choice has a consequence. It is through making mistakes that they can learn more about themselves.

Make the choice to set healthy boundaries. Sometimes family stress due to conflict demands that we set boundaries for ourselves and those around us that are under our care. It is true that sometimes the pain of someone else's behavior can continually cause distress and emotional pain within a family.

Healthy boundaries are necessary in order to protect your emotional and physical health. Only you know how to set those boundaries for yourself. Do not allow guilt, whether self induced or from other family members, to consume you for doing so. Remember, you are responsible for taking care of yourself and doing what's best for you regardless of what others think.

For more information, please visit dealing with guilt.

Stress Management

Of course, we can't forget about those stress management techniques! It is important to recognize how important they are in keeping a healthy mind and body. When you are suffering with family stress, be sure to manage your stress daily. Remember, a healthy body contributes to a healthy mind and a healthy mind contributes to a healthy body. For more detailed information, please visit stress management tips.

Have a story you want to share about family stress and conflict? Perhaps you have found something helpful you want to share with others. If so, share your story!

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