Did you know that your marriage can actually help alleviate stress in your life, rather than cause it? It's true! We're going to tell you how to do that! But before we give you some tips, the first thing you need to do is shift your mindset. Instead of thinking of marriage as hard and stressful and frustrating, try thinking of it as a gift and a blessing and something that can actually lower your blood pressure and help you instead of hurt you! Shifting your mindset is the first step, but we are going to give you some actionable steps below as well!
Stay Physically Connected - This may seem like a no-brainer when you first get married, but life gets super busy and before you know it, you aren't holding hands when you go places or even greeting each other with a hug and a kiss, or making time for sex. This is so important in your marriage and studies show that holding hands can lower your heart rate and reduce your blood pressure, which can also reduce your stress! You should be hugging and kissing each other at least several times a day (bare minimum here) and whatever you do, be sure not to neglect physical intimacy in your marriage! For more on that, check out the Naked Marriage Podcast. They are experts on that topic! In addition, a really great book on this topic is Secrets of Sex and Marriage by Shaunti Feldhan
Share each other's burdens - Spending time just sharing your difficult moments, your trials, the things that are weighing on you, can make such a difference in lowering your stress level. And who better to do that with than your spouse! In our Adventures in Marriage class, we teach our couples a tool called "Taking Out the TRASH". It allows you the opportunity to help each other carry the heavy burden of life. Being there for one another, just listening solely to understand (and not fix the problem) can make your spouse feel like a weight has been lifted. If this sounds like something you'd like to learn more about, check out aimclasses.org and sign up for a marriage class today!!! (PS: They are FREE, so you have nothing to lose)
Create a "dream list" together - This one is so much fun!! And free also! Take out a piece of paper (I may be telling my age on that - use your phone if you want to ;-) and begin dreaming about all the things you would like to do together as a couple: the places you'd like to visit; the experiences you'd like to have. You can dream big here, since it's free and you're not actually making the plan to do it right away. Here's a Pro-tip - If you're spouse is a big dreamer, please DO NOT squash their dreams with your logic by telling them it's too expensive or too far to travel or it will never happen! They will not appreciate that and it may just shut them down. It's okay for you and/or your spouse to dream big - like skydive, take a trip to an exotic island, renew your vows in Tahiti, etc! This helps you and your spouse bond and forget about the craziness of life for a little while. And you never know...you may just be able to pursue one of those dreams one day!
Serve someone together - Okay! This one probably doesn't sound like a stress reducer but did you know that when you're truly serving someone else, you can't be focused on yourself (on your own problems) at the same time. You have to shift your mindset and work as a team on this one, but it's so worth it! This has been such a vital part of our marriage for 27 years. We have served in church nursery together (wiping snotty noses and cuddling crying babies), taught young married classes at church (all-time favorite), moved to Costa Rica for 3 months to do missions work at a skate park (a dream that we didn't even know we had until we did it), served our parents by caring for them when sick or helping them with house projects (such an honor to serve the precious people who raised us), helped churches install new duct work, & various other things. There's just so many opportunities to serve someone else (google non-profit volunteering near me) that there's no excuse not to. And doing it together really is a lot of fun! I challenge you to give it a go and see if helps you bond & connect and de-stress a bit together.
Alright so there you have it...a few ways that you can actually make your marriage work for you & help you fight stress! So here's a quick recap:
Stay Physically Connected
Share Each Other's Burdens
Create a "Dream List" together
And...Don't listen to the nay-sayers who tell you that marriage is stressful and causes you more problems. Marriage is not the problem! We are the problem. Our mindset & our selfishness is the problem. We need to shift our mindsets and find ways to love each other better and serve one another and have fun together! It really can be done. If you'd like to learn more about these tips and other marriage tips, follow us on facebook or instagram, where we share daily tips & encouragement for your marriage! In addition, if you need help communicating with your spouse (communicating your burdens and your dreams), we've got you! Our marriage classes are probably just what you're looking for. Whether you live in Florida or not, you can sign up for a free class today at aimclasses.org or go to https://www.livethelife.org/programs and find a class that works for you! We can't wait to serve you and help you have the marriage of your dreams!
Stay Strong & Fight for your Marriage!
~ Live the Life