Stress is a normal -- and necessary -- part of life; however, too much stress can cause sufferers physical illnesses, including increased risk for cardiac issues, headaches and blood clots, says medical reporter Diane Suchetka, writing with Cleveland.com. Helping your boyfriend reduce stress will improve his physical and psychological health, and create the opportunity for more quality, stress-free time spent between the two of you.
It's one thing to hear what your boyfriend says when he needs to vent about something that's bothering him -- it's something else to actually listen to what he's saying. Active listening requires you to pay full attention to your boyfriend, including noticing his nonverbal cues and ensuring that you correctly heard what he was trying to communicate to you, says Margarita Tartakovsky on Psych Central. If you notice that your boyfriend gives nonverbal cues of not wanting to talk about what's bothering him, be kind and refrain from pressuring him to talk. Or, if on the other hand he's very talkative and chooses to vent about what's bothering him, allow him to speak his peace without being quick to help or give advice. If you see an opportunity to provide him with a solution to what's bothering him, first ask if it would be all right to offer your suggested solution.
Do something active together to assist in reducing his stress. Exercise helps to release the brain's feel-good neurotransmitters called endorphins. Exercising together also creates an opportunity for the two of you to spend more quality time together. If your boyfriend comes home from work and he's stressed about meeting deadlines or anxious about an upcoming presentation, suggest the two of you go for a jog or bike ride in your neighborhood. Regardless of the activity the two of you choose, getting active will allow him to calm down and release a lot of his stress and tension.
Find Out How You Can Help
Ask your partner if there's anything you can do to help him relieve some of his stress. Some of your boyfriend's stress may come from feeling overwhelmed with things in his life. Find out if he’d like you to give him a massage, help him prepare for an upcoming presentation or work assignment, or if he wants you to give him some space. If he asks for space, try not to get offended or take it personally, as some people can manage stress with the assistance of others, while some prefer to work through it alone. Your boyfriend will feel loved and supported when he sees that you’re making sincere attempts to help him reduce his stress.
Get Physically Intimate
Getting physically intimate with your boyfriend can help reduce anxiety, stress and anger, notes writer Valerie Frankel. The brain releases feel-good neurotransmitters during sex as well, which contributes to stress reduction. When your boyfriend is feeling stressed, call the babysitter or drop your kids off at their grandparents' home so that you can spend time preparing your boyfriend's favorite dinner and creating a romantic ambiance. Cater to him and give him a “happy ending” to an intimate and calming evening. Feel free to engage in physical intimacy several times a week – of course you don’t have to pull out all of the stops every time your boyfriend comes home stressed – in order to help him keep his stress levels down.
- Psych Central: How Couples Can Help Each Other De-Stress and Improve Their Relationship
- Glamour: More Sex, Less Stress
- Psych Central: Attention Couples: Becoming a Skilled Listener and Effective Speaker
- Mayo Clinic: Exercise and Stress: Get Moving to Manage Stress
- Cleveland.com: Stress Has a Purpose, but Too Much Stress Has Health Consequences
K. Nola Mokeyane has written professionally since 2006, and has contributed to various online publications, including "Global Post" and Modern Mom. Nola enjoys writing about health, wellness and spirituality. She is a member of the Atlanta Writer's Club.