The heavens are always pushing you out of your comfort zone; you may have noticed. The cosmos with its constant interactions between the planets, helps you move into the zone where your desires can manifest, but even when we want change, it can be stressful.

And it can generate a lot of pressure, both internally and interpersonally, especially in your relationships.

This can actually be good news for relationships, for as you transform your own life and discard what no longer works, you bring more of your authentic self to your interactions with others and evolve your partnership to a more fulfilling level.

That’s not always easy, so here are some basic clues to how the archetypes of the zodiac typically react to stress, and how to make this a constructive time to improve your relationship.

As the warrior of the zodiac you thrive on challenge; when stressed you may pick a fight to let off steam, and usually this is with the person you are closest to. That assertive energy connects you to your true essence, so the trick is do this without wearing a chip on your shoulder. Physical exercise helps enormously!

You hate feeling controlled, and those you deal with are also striving for their own kind of freedom now, particularly your partner. Have a good work out and express your needs as compassionately as you can.

Change and uncertainty can stress out the peace-loving Bull, who thrives on security. When threatened, Taurus can clamp down and go silent. If the pressure becomes too great you project it outward, onto your partner, in the form of sudden rage.

Check in with yourself about why you feel insecure. Soothe your inner animal with music or a walk outside. Pet your cat or play with the dog. When you’re ready, express what you feel in a way that keeps the peace.

The Twins can usually go with the flow, but when stress intensifies you can feel so overwhelmed and frazzled that you panic and reach for an escape route. That may be in the form of literally slipping out the back door, or you may hide your feelings with deceptive ploys, seek diversion in other relationships, alcohol or other addictive patterns.

Slow down your mental process, that’s the main thing, escape into a book or movie to give your mind a distraction. Breathe! When you can disengage a little from your racing mind, you can talk it out with your partner.

Like a turtle that pulls into its shell at the first sign of danger, you can retreat into moody silence when overwhelmed by stress. Or you may project the tumult of emotion you feel onto your partner in a tantrum of tears or anger.

Another less than optimal reaction may be over indulgence in food, drink or other substances. Clue into your gut; ask yourself what it is you genuinely feel. What do you need in order to trust your partner? Take that leap of faith and open up to them. You’ll feel so much better!

You like to be in control, and if stress triggers feelings of insecurity or threatens your self-confidence, you can overcompensate by projecting judgment onto your partner. You may get bossy and arrogant in attempts to regain a feeling of self-esteem. Leo needs to feel valuable and important, so remind yourself of all the ways you are powerful.

List your accomplishments, what you take pride in. When you come back to center, express yourself freely. Discuss strategies for success with your partner.

Worry comes naturally to you, Virgo. You are hyper-aware of the difference between how things ‘should’ be and how they are at the moment. You can project stress outward onto your partner in the form of unnecessary criticism. This may tie in with your own self- worth issues. Realize that everything is not your fault!

Do a quick assessment of your strengths and talents, which include perception and compassion. Relax your nerves and your body. Open up to your partner with the vulnerability you really feel.

Your quest for equilibrium might be rather challenged lately, and if you feel stressed beyond your ability to cope you may find yourself uncharacteristically lashing out at your partner, since Mars is parked in your sign for a while.

Libra can over-indulge in sensual gratification when stressed. Beauty and pleasure do relax you, just strive for balance. Now is a time for you to own your power, Libra. Get proactive and design your partnerships according to your highest ideals.

When you feel pressured you can withdraw from others and they may have no idea why you are suddenly so remote. You may channel stress into anger and discharge it via the dreaded scorpion sting, which can wreak havoc on relationships.

Like the other Water signs, you may seek escape through alcohol or other stimulants. Take emotional inventory and honor the depth of your own sensitivity. Tell the truth, express your vulnerabilities to your partner; they will love you more for it!

You are naturally optimistic, but when stressed out you can seek escape through frenetic activity, which throws you off center even more. Or you might overindulge in sensual pleasures. Physical exercise is tremendously helpful, Sagittarius; either at the gym or on the playing field, engage your body in purposeful, healthy activity.

Look within and identify the core issue. What is an ideal you can strive for in this situation? Bring this to the table and let your partner explore solutions with you.

Control and achievement are important to you; if these values feel threatened, you can react with a cold withdrawal. You may also seek to exert inappropriate control over your partner, in attempts to alleviate your own stress.

Employ stress reduction strategies like yoga, stretching or an exercise routine. Don’t try to escape into your work; step back, take stock and express your true feelings. Let down your guard and ask for the support you need.

Under stress you can flip a switch that turns your emotional availability off, leaving your partner out in the cold and in the dark. Retreat into mental detachment or silence is an unhealthy response and not great for your relationship.

Take a break from the situation and seek a totally different activity for a while. Remember that you are free and can make your life what you want it to be. Return to your partner refreshed and engage in open-hearted communication.

Your sensitivity and analytical mind can make you quite vulnerable to stress. Irrational worry can build, and you might seek escape through overindulgence in food, drink, drugs or even TV. You may project all your power onto your partner, and expect them to fix everything.

You could unconsciously try to discharge stress through inappropriate criticism and blame. Have a good cry, Pisces. Connect with your inner guidance. Open your heart to your partner in faith that you can move forward together.

VIAJennifer Angel
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