How to Cope with Family Stressors and Live a Stress-Free Life

Family stressors are a main part of life stress, as well as work stress. Stressor meaning being stressed out by events or problems taking place in your life.

A helpful way to deal with family stressors or work stressors is using an acronym to remember helpful steps in coping with stress and solving problems.

PECS is an acronym for achieving a stress-free life. Using this acronym helps people remember how to approach stress, and how to resolve it.

P is for Perception

Perception is your ability to fully understand the problem from your viewpoint. This may seem obvious, but it’s not! People often automatically go to what the other person should be doing, thinking, or how they should be acting. As opposed to what they themselves feel, and think about the problem. It’s important for you to understand how you feel and think about the problem.

When you understand your own thoughts and feelings, it makes finding a resolution more clear.

A lot of people have guilt or shame about certain emotions, and end up avoiding them. It’s very important for you to be able to express your emotions. Otherwise, you’re just bossing the other person around by telling them what they are doing wrong.

The goal is not to boss someone around. The goal is for you to express a pain point that motivates your partner to change.

How to communicate a pain point:

Saying something along the lines of, “I have an issue, and our relationship is hurting.” This will motivate someone who loves you, to help you resolve it. It’s very important to express your emotions. Acknowledge your emotions (sadness, anger, neediness), and express your pain point.

E is for Expression

Have you ever heard the pop psychology line, “Relationships are all about communication?” This line isn’t completely accurate. Think about it, anyone can communicate. Simple conversations are communicating. What’s important is knowing how to effectively communicate. 

Expressing yourself effectively is putting the thought and feeling together in a simplistic way that avoids anything about your partner.

An effective communicative template for expression is, “ I feel X when you do Y.”

“I feel irritated when you criticize me in public.”

It’s very simple. By using this template you are expressing your pain over a certain action. You’re not blaming, you’re not scolding, you’re not shaming. You’re simply sharing your perception in a kind sympathetic way.

S is for Sympathy

Sympathy is the ability to take your past experiences and listen to your partner’s perception with understanding. When you use sympathy, you are not taking over or giving up. You’re simply laying out the problem, neutrally. You have your perception and your partner has his/her perception. Now that everything is laid out on the table, it’s time to compromise.

C is for Compromise

Compromising is putting both of your perceptions together and finding something that works for both of you.

The overall PECS template is

  1. You have your perception (X),
  2. Express your perception,
  3. Listen sympathetically to your partner’s perception (Y).
  4. Then, you’ll join X and Y together to come up with a resolution.

This template is a guide to help you find resolutions for your work, life, and family stressors. Think of the resolution as a masterpiece because it is a masterpiece you and your partner have created together! It’s your own unique signature to the problem. This is an intimate experience because you did not take over or let your partner take over. You both worked together to create a solution.

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