Stress blog

Blog: Relationship problems start and end with you

By Edward T. Creagan, M.D. August 5, 2009

Need more help?

If the stress in your life is more than you can cope with, get help right away.

  • National Suicide Prevention Lifeline
    1-800-273-TALK (8255)
  • Go to the nearest hospital or emergency room
  • Call your physician, health provider or clergy
  • National Alliance on Mental Illness
    1-800-950-NAMI (6264)

The American poet Carl Sandburg said, "Time is the coin of life. It's the only coin you have, and only you can determine how it will be spent."

For me the same can be said of relationships. They are essential for maintaining our sanity and vitality, especially when dealing with life's challenges. However, relationships can also be a source of stress and can drain our reserves. We often hear people say, "He drives me crazy!" or "She stresses me out."

I have said the same thing myself, but now I know better. I do not allow myself to fall into the trap of letting others rob me of my most precious commodity — my peace of mind. I own my emotions. I determine how I will react. If I allow myself to become angry or upset with another individual, I am giving away my serenity. And once it is gone, it is very difficult to get back.

We need to understand that it is not other people who stress us out. It is our reactions to them. We must choose our relationships with care, and we must be judicious in how we spend our emotional energy. If we fail to do so, we may find we have nothing left to give.


Edward T. Creagan, M.D.

Follow on Twitter: @EdwardCreagan

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15 Comments Posted

Aug. 05, 2009