Tips for Healthy Communication to Reduce Stress [Episode #546]
This week’s topic is: Tips for Healthy Communication to Reduce Stress
Stress is the precursor to inflammation, illness, sickness, to accelerated aging, squashing our energy and depleting our vitality. It’s something that we want to reduce in our lives.
The next part is that we love many of our relationships. Of course, we don’t want to live without our loved ones, our family, friends, and beyond that, we have to interact with many other people, our colleagues, acquaintances, all sorts of people. And relationships, the ones that we choose, and maybe some of the ones that we don’t choose, like our in-laws are still part of our lives and can be an enormous source of stress.
Or we can shift the way that we deal with these relationships and ground ourselves, ground our health and these relationships can be primarily a source of enjoyment in our lives. The thing about relationships is that we all come with triggers and wounds and reactions and experiences from the past and sensitivities.
Relationships can again be a little bit tricky, but today we’re going to go through some tips and strategies for really fortifying your own energy and health, so that you can navigate this whole galaxy of relationships and maintain your highest health and wellbeing and enjoy yourself and enjoy life.
Have you been wondering about this very topic? If you want to know the answer to this question and 3 more sent in by Beauties just like you, listen now to find out!
Hi, I love you and your podcast, thank you for all that you do. To preface, I’m obsessed with family, and I’m extremely close to mine and my husband’s family. His mother however, is an extremely negative, angry soul, and has alienated all her children and ex husband. I’m the only person she is on speaking terms with, and I’m finding it increasingly more difficult to shoulder the negativity. I fear the effect on my life and my children’s life, however I can’t cut her out of our lives. Any tips on maintaining my own peace around someone who is eternally negative?
Cassie – Ohio
Hi Kimberly! I know your kids are young still but wondering if you have any tips on how to talk to my teenage son without it turning into a battle of wills? Having a hard time staying calm.
Madeleine – South Dakota
I’ve been feeling so anxious lately whenever my husband talks to our kids about their grades and chores around the house. He doesn’t have much patience and it’s making me crazy. I wish he could speak to them in a healthier way. Any suggestions you can provide?
Angela – Idaho
Did you and your hubby speak openly about your needs from the beginning or are you still learning as you go? I’m in a fairly new relationship and having a hard time getting my needs across without it stressing me out. Any help would be greatly appreciated.
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Kimberly : 00:00 Hey Beauties, and welcome back to our Thursday Q&A podcast where our topic today is Tips for Healthy Communication to Reduce Stress. And this is such a big topic because we all know, first of all, that stress is the precursor to inflammation, to illness, to sickness, to accelerated aging, to just squashing our energy, depleting our vitality. And it’s something that we want to of course reduce in our lives. And the next part is that we love many of our relationships. Of course, we don’t want to live without our loved ones, our family, our friends, and beyond that, we have to interact with many other people, our colleagues, acquaintances, all sorts of people. And relationships, the ones that we choose, and maybe some of the ones that we don’t choose, like our in laws are still part of our lives and can be an enormous source of stress. Or we can shift the way that we deal with these relationships and ground ourselves, ground our health and these relationships can be primarily a source of enjoyment in our lives.
Kimberly : 01:12 Now, the thing about relationships is that we all come with triggers and wounds and reactions and experiences from the past and sensitivities. So relationships can again be a little bit tricky, but today we’re going to go through some tips and strategies for really fortifying your own energy, your own health, so that you can navigate this whole galaxy of relationships and maintain your highest health and wellbeing and enjoy yourself and enjoy life. So this is a big topic, I think for all of us.
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Kimberly : 02:13 These shows are really meant to inspire you and to support you on your journey, towards living your best life and feeling really good, which I define as being really connected to yourself, and feeling really aligned and grounded in your life between your inspiration, your passions, and your heart, all that you want to create and that you feel supported and that you feel that you really do have supportive community around you. So I’m excited to hear all these questions.
Question 1: Hi, I love you and your podcast. Thank you for all that you do. To preface, I’m obsessed with family and I’m extremely close to mine and my husband’s family. His mother, however, is an extremely negative, angry soul and has alienated all her children and ex-husband. I’m the only person she is on speaking terms with, and I’m finding it increasingly more difficult to shoulder the negativity. I fear the effect on my life and my children’s lives. However, I can’t cut her out of our life. Any tips on maintaining my own peace around someone who is eternally negative?
Kimberly : 02:45 The first one comes from Anna in Vancouver and she writes, “Hi, I love you and your podcast. Thank you for all that you do. To preface, I’m obsessed with family and I’m extremely close to mine and my husband’s family. His mother, however, is an extremely negative, angry soul and has alienated all her children and ex-husband. I’m the only person she is on speaking terms with, and I’m finding it increasingly more difficult to shoulder the negativity. I fear the effect on my life and my children’s lives. However, I can’t cut her out of our life. Any tips on maintaining my own peace around someone who is eternally negative?”
Kimberly : 03:23 So Anna, this is an amazing question. There’s so much richness in here. I want to go right into it. Thank you so much, sending you a big virtual hug. So first thing is that I applaud you for really maintaining your heart and your compassion and wanting to be that go between, that peacemaker in between you and someone else and the rest of the family. I know that can feel like a bit of a difficult position sometimes when you’re trying to really maintain the peace and the energy of so many different people. And this is a great example of family members, people that we can’t just cut out of our lives, people that are going to be in our lives, but maybe they’re negative. Maybe they don’t exactly have the energy that we want to be around all the time.
Kimberly : 04:08 But at the same time, we want to maintain our connection to our heart. We want to be loving, we want to be respectful and we want to, again, maintain that deep, deep, deep compassion, knowing that everybody’s doing their best and people that are really negative probably come from a really wounded place. And we don’t know exactly all the things that have happened in her life or the things that she’s had to endure. So we want to maintain that energy of compassion, but at the same time, there’s two things here I want to say.
Kimberly : 04:36 Number one is acceptance. So I think when we accept that someone is the way that they are and we accept that we are who we are, we respect ourselves, we respect them. It means that we’re going to eliminate some of the struggle because we’re not coming from the place of trying to change somebody or getting them to understand us or understand our position on an issue. That is extremely exhausting. And I think that in and of itself creates a lot of stress in relationships. Let’s say it could be your position on plant based eating, or it’s really healthy to drink the GGS or whatever it is. If someone disagrees with you and they’re just not in the place to see another way, then I suggest that you just again, go to deep acceptance, meet people where they are, see where they are, see where you are and see how you can harmonize instead of pushing and striving and trying to make shifts and changes where someone may not be ready for that.
Kimberly : 05:32 And number two, I would say to really put up healthy boundaries and to know your line and to stick to that, and that is going to eliminate a ton of stress as well. So what I mean by that is maybe … You said she’s an angry soul, so maybe you limit the time she’s around you and your children. Maybe it’s some sort of schedule where you see her, I don’t know, I’m just making this up, once a month or you talk twice a month. And if she engages in negativity, you take the high road, you maintain that healthy boundary of she can say what she wants. I accept her where she is, but I am not going to get dragged down. I’m going to stay in my heart. I’m not going to say anything gossipy or negative or mean or angry. I’m just going to be there to hold space for her in a loving way. But I’m going to keep this healthy boundary of, she’s not going to drag down my energy. And you also have boundaries around space and time. Like I said, maybe it’s once a month, she comes into your home.
Kimberly : 06:30 Or maybe you go to her home instead, if you don’t like that in your home, whatever it is. But to think through, and maybe you could write this out, your healthy boundaries and acceptance. And I think that will really help to maintain a peaceful relationship and to make it the best it can be. Because honestly, if you stay in that space, maybe she’ll change, maybe she’ll become more loving, maybe she won’t because you don’t control it. But you’re really putting herself in the best position. You’re doing all that you can. At the same time, you’re not sacrificing yourself or your own happiness or your family’s sense of peace, which of course is important. We can’t just disrespect ourselves or change our lives for someone else.
Kimberly : 07:14 But at the same time, we do want to be compassionate and we do want to maintain relationships in the most healthy way possible. Man, we’ve all had those situations. I can definitely relate. And I can say that just stay in your hearts, keep meditating, take some deep breaths, journal when you need to. But this is something that you can get through as long as you have real clarity around those boundaries.
Question 2: Hi Kimberly. I know your kids are young, but wondering on any tips that you have around talking to my teenage son without turning it into a battle of wills. I’m having a hard time staying calm.
Kimberly : 07:44 Next question comes from Cassie and she lives in Ohio. She writes, “Hi Kimberly. I know your kids are young, but wondering on any tips that you have around talking to my teenage son without turning it into a battle of wills. I’m having a hard time staying calm.”
Kimberly : 08:00 Cassie, I love this question. Thank you so much. I can feel the energy. I know that could be a very tough situation. I will say my children are not yet teenagers, but I have dealt with clients who have felt like my children, even though they’re older than me. I have clients that have felt like teenagers that are very stubborn and there has been a battle of wills, so to speak. So I’ll say again, this is a really interesting situation because teenagers or adults, or people that are trying to find their way, they’re trying to find their voice. They’re trying to maintain their … What they are starting to find their sense of power. And the will comes in when there’s someone that is perceived as a authority figure that’s telling them what to do. And they don’t like that. Or they’re not used to that. Or in this case, maybe threatening their sense of self that’s developing.
Kimberly : 09:02 So with clients, and I can think of, again, men who are big and strong and even older than me. So it wasn’t, I was in this mom position, but I can think of those situations. And I can say that if you get into a battle of facts or I’m right, you’re wrong, this back and forth, this black and white. That only creates more division and more separatism. So I think what’s important. And what’s worked for me in these sorts of situations is to really create a space of active listening and to make sure that your son feels really heard first, because I think a lot of the acting outcomes from teenagers or people just not really feeling that they’re being seen and being heard. I can relate to this firsthand.
Kimberly : 09:48 I remember those very feelings as a teenager, not feeling heard or seen and going to measures to be heard and to be seen, which perhaps were not the healthiest, but they were my coping mechanisms at the time. So it included trying to get skinnier and skinnier so I would be noticed, trying to get the best, best achievements and the best grades so I would be validated externally versus really starting to just accept and root and love myself and my own energy. Was all this external stuff that I began to focus on.
Kimberly : 10:25 So first of all, just make sure that your son feels heard and seen, really look into his eyes, make some space to talk to him and to make sure that he feels that you are listening to him and let him have it out. Sometimes some teenagers or adults need to scream or they need to shout. They need to express. They need to get their frustrations out. So I would let him ride that whole wave out so that you’re allowing that space for real expression and really being there and not kind of listening, but really thinking about what you’re going to say or what you’re going to tell them or how you’re going to prove that your side is right, but just really allowing that space for listening.
Kimberly : 11:06 And I found again with clients that say to me this is how, I don’t understand for instance, and this is just an example, why dairy could be wrong to eat. I’ve been eating it since I was a child. And my mom gave it to me and blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. And all the arguing. If we get into like right wrong, that makes people feel very reactive. It makes people feel very cornered in. So we don’t want to go that route. And we don’t want to put expectations or pressure. We want to listen. And there’s so much in here around the power of letting go as well. I think if you present your ideas about the situation, again, from a loving place after listening, you try to be empathetic, you try to just stay calm, compassionate, and in your heart, there becomes this big, big part about letting go. Which I know is tough with children because we are guiding them. But I think when they’re older, there can be a space, even more space to let go and to see what your son will do and take away from that information.
Kimberly : 12:17 Because if we try to hold, if we try to control even more, I think some people push us away. So bring that active listening, bring the compassion, bring the empathy, and bring their deep, deep respect. And then also the letting go process to this, of just feeling your feelings, presenting the information of your side, whatever you want to present, and then letting go and not being attached and not being overly, again, just invested in a specific outcome. But then allowing your son to have the space. And again, this is a tough procedure, a tough process because we want our children to be led into what we feel are the best ways we want our children to be protected. So this is not always the easiest thing, but it’s something that I have found time and time again, actually makes more progress, actually makes the space for what you want to have happen float in.
Kimberly : 13:13 And so try it, Cassie, let us know how you do best of luck to you sending you so much love. I know that this is probably a tough stage and the developmental process. One that I have not crossed. But again, I think it’s something similar that we deal with in our adult relationships. So let us know how you do. Keep in touch with us and sending you so much love.
Kimberly : 13:36 All right, Beauties. We have two more questions for you guys on this topic of tips for healthy communication to reduce stress. I will be right back right after this short break.
Kimberly : 13:52 All right Beauties, we have two more questions for you guys around this topic of communication to reduce stress, how we can best approach the communication across all of our relationships. We know that communication is something, it’s like eating day to day. We need to communicate. We need to relate to one another in the context of this greater collective. We are not just floating on our own islands. So communication is such a deeply steeped part of our life. It is huge. It is a huge source of potentially stress or potentially wonderful enjoyment and fulfillment and purpose and meaning.
Question 3: I’ve been feeling so anxious lately whenever my husband talks to our kids about their grades and the chores around the house. He doesn’t have much patience and it’s making me crazy. I wish he could speak to them in a healthier way. Any suggestions that you can provide.
Kimberly : 14:30 So the next question comes from Madeline, who lives in South Dakota. She writes, “I’ve been feeling so anxious lately whenever my husband talks to our kids about their grades and the chores around the house. He doesn’t have much patience and it’s making me crazy. I wish he could speak to them in a healthier way. Any suggestions that you can provide.”
Kimberly : 14:51 Well, Madeline, thank you so much for your question. This is a really tough situation because we have an equal, we have our partner, our husband, or wife, whatever. And then we have our children and the parents are meant to of course, guide and shepherd the children, but we all have different again, sensitivities and triggers and wounds, and we all have different parenting styles. And it’s really important to get on the same page. So I’ll say with my husband and I, we do definitely have different go to styles. My weak spot is definitely disciplining and we don’t do time out or anything like that. But we’re working on creating more consequences, now that [Bubby 00:15:40] is four and a half, he’s pushing his limits. And sometimes he does things right when we tell him not to. So, I come from the communication, speaking through, looking at him in his eyes. And John, my husband, comes from more, let’s take this away, this toy away, let’s be a little bit stronger.
Kimberly : 16:02 And anyways, there’s just some, some differences. So what we do is when the children are not around and this usually always pretty much happens in the evening after they’re both in bed, we talk. And we come from it in a non-confrontational place like Cassie, where it’s not right or wrong. And I have done that. And he says, “I have my style, you have yours.” And John will get defensive, but if I come from it where it’s not I’m doing it right. And I’m this parenting expert and you’re wrong. But more, this is my thought behind the way that I’m parenting our children. They’re kids so I want them to understand, but not be scared or intimidated. I want them to be motivated from a place of love versus a place of intimidation or fear. So this is the environment I want to create with our kids. What do you think? How about you?
Kimberly : 17:02 And when we leave it open like that, when we talk about our feelings and then we open up the space for hubby to come in, I think that’s a much more approachable way to come at the situation and a much more loving way. And definitely, I think doesn’t create separation, it doesn’t narrow, it doesn’t shut someone down, but allows them to introspect. And really that’s the most respectful way to come at this. I think if you keep quiet, it’s going to bother you. And then you may end up having to backpedal and say things to your kids separately, which means you and your hubby are not as an aligned in a front and that’s confusing to children. And so the only way I think is to really get together with hubby and to make sure that you express your needs and your perspectives as parents.
Kimberly : 17:55 But also if he doesn’t have much patience, it may be good to talk to him about what else is going on with you? And how can I support you? When you come at it from that perspective, instead of accusing. Maybe he isn’t sleeping well, maybe there’s some extra work stress in his life, maybe there’s something he’s internalizing that he needs support in dealing with. I just think putting aside that space for really safe communication that’s not accusatory, that’s not pushing, it doesn’t feel irritated already from the start, but feels just, hey, let’s talk about this. Just very calm and very grounded. I think that’s the way to make strives forward. And I feel confident if you sit down with hubby and really express from your heart, Madeline and your concerns and your love for him and your children, that really is the best way to approach this situation. So let us know how you do sending you a big hug. I hope that things get resolved and there is more just unity across the board and communication with the kids. Lots and lots of love to you honey.
Question 4: Did you and your hubby speak openly about your needs from the beginning? Or are you still learning as you go? I’m in a fairly new relationship and having a hard time getting my needs across without it stressing me out. Any help would be greatly appreciated.
Kimberly : 19:08 And our last question now comes from Angela, who lives in Idaho and she writes, “Did you and your hubby speak openly about your needs from the beginning? Or are you still learning as you go? I’m in a fairly new relationship and having a hard time getting my needs across without it stressing me out. Any help would be greatly appreciated.”
Kimberly : 19:29 Angela, sending you a big hug, honey. I totally understand when you’re in a new relationship, you don’t want to create waves. You want things to stay in that honeymoon phase for as long as possible. You want to feel connected to your partner, you want things to work and I get it. I will say, though, from the beginning, you do want to create a system of communication where it’s safe and effective and in a way that feels good to both of you, a whole system for expressing your needs. So I’ll say from the beginning with hubby and I, we felt really bonded from the first time we met, which was at a dinner party and I felt very comfortable with him and I felt that we could talk. So we met at this dinner party and the next morning we ended up going on a beach walk. And back when I was doing beach walks every day and we spoke for another two hours and it was just this flow.
Kimberly : 20:29 And so there was already a connection, like a real basis of connection that I think is important that you can work with that. But we did have to keep figuring out the best ways to communicate as we went. I’m someone that values closeness and I want to snuggle and get in there and really be able to express my emotions and express my needs and hubby’s open to that and listening. But he also has the need for some space. He likes to go out on his motorcycle, or sometimes if we get in an argument or we’re discussing something, he just wants to go in the guest house and get away, which was really hard for me in the beginning because I wanted to talk about my … Express my needs, which is to get close and to smooth things over. So we’ve had to talk about things and to really learn, to see things from each other’s sides and that has just continued to unfold and evolve.
Kimberly : 21:36 And I look at our communication in the beginning where the love was there, but understanding each other’s specificities was not completely there yet and what it is now. And I think that relationships that are based in true love and respect and acceptance will continue to deepen over time and evolve. And you will continue to become more close and more comfortable with each other and you can be comfortable as yourself. And that’s really important, Angela from the beginning. If you feel scared or to express your needs, or you’re just finding over time, you try, but you’re being shut down, then I would really have a real sit down with your partner. And this may or may not be a red flag in the relationship. It may be something that you really just need to address and express, and hopefully that resolves it. Or early on, you can see, hey, this is someone that may not be open to someone else’s needs, or maybe we’re just very different people.
Kimberly : 22:40 Or maybe this can’t really work. We have such different needs. And that’s important to learn from the beginning as well, so that you don’t go around in circles and maybe waste time or energy. So that may be the case or right from the beginning hopefully it’s the case that you sit down, you learn each other’s communication styles. That book, The Languages of Love. I never read the book, but I was told about the languages. And so it does provide a good framework. Hubby’s words are really important to him. Whereas time is really important to me or whatever it is. You can see how you can prioritize and how you can best support each other. But do that upfront Angela. You don’t want to wait months and months, and months and keep pushing down your needs. You want to know from the beginning, how do I establish healthy communication? You don’t want to get stressed about it. You want to express yourself because we all deserve to have our needs met and to be in a fulfilling relationship needs being met is very, very important.
Kimberly : 23:47 We want to feel at the same time that we can be free to be ourselves and that we are free to be expressive in our relationship. The more time goes on, I just really think that freedom is one of the most important attributes in a relationship, that ability to be free, that ability to express freely, that ability to be so radically just ourselves. And to know that we are loved for us is really important. So try that Angela. Just try really sitting down again, not from the place of right, wrong, my way, your way, but just putting your hands on your heart and expressing your feelings, how you care and you love so much. And these are some of the things that feel good to you or some of the things that you would like, and how does it feel to you? And how would you like it?
Kimberly : 24:35 And then open it up for reciprocal communication. And I think that’s the non-threatening way, that’s the way of love, that’s the way of harmony. And then you can open up the space to go deeper and deeper into your relationship. So thank you so much for your question beauty and sending you lots of love. Let us know, keep in touch with us, let us know how it continues to unfold for you and your man or your lady.
Kimberly : 25:02 My Beauties, I think this was a great question. Communication is something that continues to evolve. I will say that we talk about support a lot. We talk about all these topics a lot over in our Solluna Circle, which you can have access to in the membership part of our free app. You can go to the app store and download our Solluna app, and you can find out all about the circle, which is my obsession at the moment. I’m in there every day, posting, commenting on our daily tips and of course hosting our monthly circles. So please check it out. If you’re looking to go deeper into community and support. I send you so much love.
Kimberly : 25:41 If you’re looking for in our four cornerstones, any support, food, body, emotional wellbeing, spiritual growth, we have free meditations, we have tons of recipes over for you on the app. Also on our website. I will also see on social media @ _Kimberly Snyder. Otherwise, let me leave you with a thought of the week. And then I will see you back here Monday for our next interview podcast.
Thought of the Week
Kimberly : 26:04 My thought of the week is very simple as always but hits right to the heart of this topic, which is always lead with love. If you stay in your heart, as I’ve been saying through this whole show, and you don’t slip into the place of speaking from the ego, which wants to be right, which wants to be the perspective that is overvalued or heard the most. If we come from the place of equalness and respect and love, we will create healthy, beautiful communication. If we come from the place of hardness and rigidity and inflexibility and ego, we will have stress in our relationships. So it’s better to take some deep breaths, to keep your practice, to meditate in the morning so that you feel less reactive for the day, to start the day with your SBO Probiotics, to nourish your gut health, which will in turn balance, your neuro-transmitters, your moods, your brain, to allow you to approach each interaction with love and calmness, your relationships will also continue to improve.
Kimberly : 27:15 So just a reminder that everything works together in our cornerstones. The food, the way that you eat, the way that you take care of your body and your supplements and sleep, the emotional wellbeing, the way that you connect with your tribe, our tribe, our community, and journal and express your feelings and spiritual growth, being able to meditate and create an alter, space for stillness in your life will inherently unbelievably increase the positivity of your relationships. Because the relationship with yourself and the acceptance of yourself is the foundation upon which all relationships are built. So always lead with love, check out our resources for the four cornerstones, sending you so much love and I will see you back here on Monday. Take care, and again, lots and lots of love.