by Jussynda Burns, TAC member, The Launch Pad Teen Center
With the pressures of all the different relationships around us, it can be easy to lose sight of the importance of connecting with friends and family in the wake of focusing on the challenges we face.
We crave human connection that demands this intimate demeanor we so often struggle to maintain because of our intense emotions. Not feeling like you’re being heard can escalate the situation, which will only increase the tension and your stress levels and make necessary conversations harder.
Regulating stress is an important part of breaking down conversations, and stress hormones can be reduced in a number of ways.
Talking with the others around you, for example, is successful in alleviating tension. Having that difficult conversation with those we love not only thickens the thread of connection we share with them, but it also can help to reduce the frustrated feelings and fears that encumber us.
Why do we struggle to make such connection? Why deny such a simple resolution to the strong stress hormones we experience?
Reasons include a lack of practice or effort put into our conversations; but this is easy to resolve.
Luckily, we constantly practice these skills. In every conversation we use these skills to make our points. They can be applied in our relationships when we need to voice our expectations, needs, wants or concerns.
The healthy expression of our needs goes a long way to draw those we love closer to us, and it will decrease our stress levels when we talk about our struggles.
I encourage everyone to voice your needs, no matter the perceived impossibility. And, extend some patience to yourself as you deal with grappling emotions caused by the powerful stress hormones we feel in daily life.
To learn more about the effectiveness of communication skills and the importance of communication in daily life, check out the Better Together Project, a teen-led initiative to help resolve the communication barriers our community faces.