Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Stress in Family Life, its Causes and Impact

Family is regarded a small unit of organized group life. It is more or less a legal and socially desired association of a man and a woman with or without children, or of a man and woman alone, with children. Anyhow the concept of family is not limited to a husband, a wife and their children only but these are regarded the primary personnel of a family. Family may become a larger inclusive term when it includes grandparents, relative in laws, and grandchildren all forming a unit which is called household.

The importance of family as an institution is as great as the existence of family itself. Along with various other imperative functions of a family, the affectional and economic functions count more. There have been
many changes in family structure, family functions, and family related individual roles. We can see huge difference between primitive families and modern families. Families have become nuclear, economy oriented, weaker in terms of emotional attachment, more independent, and socially hollow.
Family today seems to be a troubled institution. The divorce rate is high, and the number of separation is large. Families without children are numerous. This situation is a source of anxiety to many persons because the home is the place where the personals and social virtues are developed. The personality, attitude and behavior of father and mother shape and determine the type of citizen their children will become.
We do not spoil our time in drawing a comparison between the simplicity, emotionality, and natural flexibility of primitive families with the modernity, hollowness, and rational stiffness of today’s families. Whatever the changes have taken place in family structure and functions, the phenomenon of family as a social institution has remained of equal concern for the students of social sciences and thinkers.
Stress has become a part of family life now-a-days. This issue has attracted the focus of many social researchers and social scientists. Stress not only affects the performance of spouses but it also imparts an unhealthy effect on the psychological growth of the children. Stress is not always a bad thing; it may lead us to maladaptive response or may help us become more resilient for the future.
Here are the major reasons which are mainly responsible for family stress in modern age:
  1. 1.     In many stress events, the first and foremost is the economic imbalances at family level. For the men, it is stressful to have no adequate income generation sources. Her wife may criticize him for his economic failure. She, in this way produces anxiety and psychological pressure upon him. In response, he may not give her soft response and the situation becomes irritable. Under such circumstances, the emotional ties become weak and the clash drag to a dangerous point.
  1. 2.  The other reason is lack of understanding among the spouses. The emotional aspect of human personality is not so much easy as is considered by many of us. This is the emotional complexity which often brings us to divorce of separation. To understand others’ emotional state and the stimulus behind her/his behavior is a most difficult task as we all are not psychologists or mental doctors. The thing is that we should try to examine the present scene from a different but I would say from an abnormal unusual point of view. The lack of tolerance may bring about a gigantic conflict and thus may ruin a family’s peace.

  1. 3.    The lack of harmony between two or among more than two members of family also affects others in a negative way. The exchange of harsh words between two members generates stress for other family members. Violent environment not only creates distance among the family members but it also weakens trust of others in them. So the stress is not confined to the quarrelers, it spoils the charm of others who takes them for everything of theirs.

  1. 4.   Lack of time management is the other strong reason for stress. The rush attitude towards economic activities and out of door affairs is vivid indication of weakening family interaction between the members. When proper time, care and attention are not given to the relations, a gap is created which leads to unorganized family life. This type of family life creates chaotic situation and the family peace suffers a lot. The stress is its product.
  1. 5.   Abundant variations in culture and traditions of married spouses are other factors which are mainly responsible for mismatched attitude, habits and thinking of the spouses.  Education, religious sect, difference of class, and some other factors like this produce different personalities which are hard to combine. So, it is not a vague thought to consider it a factor behind family disturbance. Internally disturbed families suffer from stress and anxiety having no fun and enjoyment.
The children may become emotionally weak and psychologically abnormal if these things keep on happening in families. The stress on very young children is fatal for their personality and mental growth. If a matter of conflict is necessary to be resolved through harsh words, prolonged argumentation or something like that, the spouses are advised to do this violent activity in the absence of the children. The more the time the children spend seeing their parents happy and peaceful, the stronger, more capable, and psychologically fit they grow.
Though stress is inevitable in family life, we can take steps to reduce its negative impact on our emotions, rational thinking, parenting, work, and the important relationships in our life.

What we can do to reduce the impact of stress?

  • Plan your Ways

What we can do is to minimize the number of stress events by making some changes in our routine life, our schedule of work, the way we take family events, our personal priorities, and in our expectations from others. We can enhance the level of our tolerance by giving time to others, by listening their true feelings, understanding them, and focusing on only positive points of their delivery. 

  • Be Frank and Open

Having no trusted individual to share your feelings causes further stress. The fear of expression is never a good thing for you. Interaction with other family members and peer group is a key to minimize stress and anxiety. Openly expressed and plainly communicated ideas and feelings have better effect on listeners. Communicate your feelings to others whom you trust in stressful times. Don’t keep stress hidden in your inner; just express it the best open way. Open, frequent and consistent communication provides you with best coping skills and positive adaptation to life stress.

  • Share it to your Friends

It means you should express your stress to your friends, your caretakers and to your sincere advisors. The more you share your anxiety the more it becomes light. The more time you spend in loneness thinking about the stress event, the more intensive your stress becomes. Go and share it, have nice advises and comments, and sometimes blow it with some funny remarks.

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