Guide to Beating Valentine’s Day Stress as a Couple
By Dr. Pete Sulack | Stress expert, writer and speaker, Dr. Pete Sulack is the author of "Fellowshipping with God's Voice" as well as the founder of Matthew 10 Ministries and Unhealthy Anonymous (www.unhealthyanonymous.com) - a wellness support program that provides tools for healthier living.
For married couples, Valentine’s Day can be stressful. Family and friends, the media and retail stores set expectations for a romantic, flower-filled day with grand gestures and surprises. We’re made to feel that we have to go “over the moon” to please our partners on February 14th, which can be especially hard for those who have a few years of marriage under their belt.
The entire phenomenon of Valentine’s Day in our culture is driven by an industry that needs us to spend money. Instead, take the focus off of this passing materialistic culture and its stressful demands that we overspend, overeat, and overemphasize sensuality on a particular calendar date. Together, focus on yourselves and your relationship together to find true happiness and love in February.
Take Care of Each Other. We all need human connection, and connection is a God-given tool for circumventing the body’s stress response. At the end of the day, your spouse doesn’t care how much money you make or how many people want to be you; they care most about how you make each other feel. Sometimes doing comes before feeling – when you do more for each other, you can connect in the deepest way and even relieve stress.
Take Care of Your Body. Getting candy and sweets on Valentine’s Day is traditional, but sugar puts oxidative stress on your body. Instead of heading to a restaurant, have a low-key dinner at home. Make a date out of it by choosing a recipe, shopping for ingredients and cooking together. Afterwards, run a warm bath in Epsom salts, baking soda, and coconut oil. This combination offers detoxification which reduces overall bodily stress. Head off to bed with a cup of chamomile tea sweetened with organic, raw honey. The slightly acidic PH level of honey discourages the growth of bacteria, and its strong antioxidant properties destroy free radicals that stress your cells. Other stress-fighting activities? If the weather allows, take a long walk or hike to reduce stress with exercise and reconnect with your partner.
Take Care of Your Mind. The quality of our lives is directly determined by our thoughts. If we are positive, grateful, and joyful, our bodies will feel less stressed. If we are negative, complaining, and bitter, our bodies will ache, and we will not be at ease. Because our bodies are electrical in nature, our feelings travel to the brain through electrical impulses in our nerves. Those feelings are then magnetically radiated from our bodies, so if you’re feeling worrisome, fearful or depressed, you will radiate that to the people around you.
Take Care of Others. Showing love to others boosts your immune system by increasing white blood cell activity. A recent study on health and happiness found that subjects who focused on finding happiness in their own comfort and pleasure had remarkably unhealthy cellular profiles as well as high levels of inflammation in their systems. They also had lower levels of antibody production. In contrast, those who sought happiness through helping others had lower readings for inflammatory factors in their blood, and they produced more antibodies.
In other words, why we are happy matters as much as actually being happy. Whether this is showing love to our spouse or others, when we take care of others unselfishly, we are rewarded not only with improved health, but also with joy.
Volunteering to help others on a regular basis boosts self-confidence, betters your social skills, combats depression, boosts your immune system, and has even been shown to lessen chronic pain and improve heart disease.
Let’s start a new conversation about Valentine’s Day that includes minimizing stress in our lives while joyfully showing love to our spouses and serving our neighbors, whoever they may be. Happy Valentine’s Day!
Loving Heart Designs
Disclaimer: Loving Heart Designs often provides content that has been provided freely to distribute and sometimes includes paid advertisements. This was a guest posting by Dr. Pete Sulack through BLASTmedia.com .