Dealing with Family Stress?

Learning how to manage your family stress isn't about them... it's about You.

Dealing with family stress can be difficult. However, the most important thing to remember is that you are only in control of your own actions and reactions. And learning to deal with your own stress properly can have a profound impact on not only you, but those that are close to you as well.

Being part of a family can be both rewarding and stressful. Family stress management is a topic that can ignite a lot of passion. And it’s sometimes difficult to take a step back and look at the situations with a clear head when you’re dealing with people who are close to you.

There are many reasons that you may be feeling stress and/or pressure from your family, and there are a few things to keep in mind...

dealing with family stress

When dealing with family stress, the first thing to consider is You. This is very important. Think about your own personal, independent roll in your family's stress.

  • Are you too involved and stressing over an issue that has nothing to do with you?
  • Are you guessing or imagining what others are saying, thinking, or feeling about you and causing yourself unnecessary stress?
  • Are you being too hard on yourself and/or others?
  • Are you focusing on trying to control situations or people that you have no control over?
  • Are you allowing the stress held by other members of your family to increase your own stress?
  • Are you managing your own stress properly?

How you deal with your stress and the stress the family puts on you will have a direct effect on the stress level of each family member.

Dealing with your own stress in a healthy manner will have a positive effect on the people around you.

This is especially true when dealing with marital stress. Focusing on yourself and your stress rather than your partner's will have a profound impact on your relationship.

Take steps to avoid accepting unnecessary stress from others that you are close to. This may mean that you need to set new boundaries within your relationships and re-define interactions that will create healthier, and more stable interactions.

Learn how to not be someone else’s dumping ground.

We all need a break once in awhile, and you may need to consider that it’s okay to tell your family members that while you love them very much, you have your own problems and stress to deal with and need a break from theirs… and then learn to discuss different, more positive topics with one another.

If you’ve been the back-bone and the caretaker for others’ stress and problems, approaching and creating new boundaries will need to be done with care and tact without sacrificing your own needs. However, this doesn’t mean that you completely change course and begin to turn your back on those who need you. There is a careful balance that can be created and maintained with practice.

Be a good role model.

When you begin to take steps to manage your stress more effectively, it will rub off on those around you. They’ll notice the change in you, and may even ask for your help to learn how to better manage their own stress.

When it comes to your children, your stress management may need to be more guided. As a parent, it is your job to recognize when your children are stressed and introduce some activities that will help the entire family relieve some stress.

If you are one of many stressed parents it's also important for you to focus on you. Don't be afraid to be selfish when it comes to stress management. Making time for you and healing your own soul will help the entire family's stress management goals.

Click here for more information on helping your teens deal with stress

Even young children can learn to manage stress.

You can also share your tips for stressed out parents and read tips on how to Choose Fun Over Stress submitted by a reader of

Dealing with family stress can be sort of like surviving a plane crash... you need to put your oxygen mask on first before helping anyone else.

How do you manage your stress?

Throughout this site you'll find lots of helpful resources that can help you manage your stress, such as journaling and hypnosis. Be sure to also check out the free e-learning tools available and share your stories as well as read stories submitted by others.

Or pick up your copy of The Stressful Lives Stress Management Workbook today!

Dealing with Family Stress

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The information presented on this site is not intended to diagnose or treat any medical condition. Always seek the advice of your individual Health Care Professional.