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When vacations turn into yelling matches

Friday - 8/10/2012, 10:58am  ET

How to de-stress on your vacation

Dr. Kathleen Hall, The Stress Institute

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WASHINGTON - Even though it should be a time to relax and enjoy each other's company, most couples argue during vacation. They nitpick and squabble over things like asking for directions or what time to arrive at the airport.

In fact, 70 percent of couples admit to fighting on holiday, according to Ohio State University.

"Even sarcasm and nastiness, or when you dismiss your spouse or your partner, it actually has health consequences," says Dr. Kathleen Hall from The Stress Institute. "You stop the body from healing and it can increase your risk for cardiovascular disease and all kinds of horrible things."

So how can we learn to relax when vacation turns into a shouting match?

"Remember these words: Stop, look and listen," Hall says.

The key to enjoying each other's company is respecting each other's space, she says. Make sure not to pace or make too many nervous movements. Also, keep a respectful distance from each other - not too close to be annoying, but not too far to indicate discomfort. Hall suggests 3 feet.

And finally, "listen with your heart," Hall says. Communication is the key to any successful relationship.

For these and other tips, listen to Hall's full interview.

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(Copyright 2012 by WTOP. All Rights Reserved.)