Ask Yourself Exactly What You Feel
Naming the emotion thats troubling you can help you take the first steps toward managing it productively.
Closer examination might reveal an entirely different emotion than you first thought you were facing.
When irritability creeps up, for example, take a break from the situation. Sit with those feelings and do a little digging.
Maybe youre not annoyed with your partner, but frustrated by the inability to go out and do something fun. Or maybe youre restless because you havent had a chance to exercise.
Mindfulness tools like meditation and journaling can help you practice accepting your feelings. Sharing frustrations with a trusted friend can help you uncover and make sense of difficult feelings, too.
If your annoyance does stem from something they did, explore the situation further by asking yourself:
- When did I start feeling like this?
- Have I felt like this before?
- Is it related to something Im doing?
- Is it related to something theyre doing?
- Is it related to something else?
Validate Them When Theyre Insecure
Insecurity may also play a role in your partners anxiety. This insecurity could stem from multiple sources, such as relationships and body image. You may not agree with their level of insecurity, but you can still validate them through listening, offering empathy for the emotions they are experiencing, reflecting back what they have shared, normalizing their feelings, seeing the situation through their perspective, offering physical touch to connect, and using open body language. Validation creates an environment of safety and trust which will help your partner feel more secure.
Youre Overthinking What You Want To Say
In any healthy relationship, a stable stream of communication is essential. However, if you feel like you cant communicate what youre thinking or what you want to say, you may notice that you have an increased level of anxiety.
Perhaps you feel like you need to stuff your feelings. Maybe you feel stonewalled when you attempt to bring up an issue that concerns you.
If you feel like youre in a situation where you cant fully express what you think or what you want to say, as youre anticipating your partners reaction being negative, this can lead to frequent feelings of anxiety. No one deserves to walk on eggshells every day in their relationships.
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What Not To Say To Someone With Anxiety
There are things you should try and avoid saying too. In general, try not to minimise how someone feels or dismiss what theyre saying as an overreaction. Dont say things like:
- Try not to think about it
- I get anxious sometimes too
- Maybe youre just an anxious person
- Youve got nothing to be anxious about
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How To Stop Relationship Anxiety
Relationships are incredibly complicated. There are two things that you have to ask yourself in the beginning, long before you can expect to fix your relationship:
- Is the relationship worth saving?
- Are you willing to change yourself even without your partner changing?
The first question is self-explanatory. Not every relationship is worth saving, no matter how long you’ve been together. It may sound clichÃ©, but breakups are actually an important part of relationships. If we assume that the point of any relationship is to be with one person that always makes you happy, then you always have to remember that the person you’re with may not be the right person for you.
The second question, however, is based on one simple truth about relationships: you can only change yourself. Despite all the ways you plead with your partner to improve, you can’t be the one to change them. Only they can change them. Your role, then, is to try to be the best partner you can be and as open as possible, and then hope that it motivates them to change as well.
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Have A Centering Object
When youre anxious or angry, so much of your energy is being spent on irrational thoughts. When youre calm, find a centering object such as a small stuffed animal, a polished rock you keep in your pocket, or a locket you wear around your neck.
Tell yourself that youre going to touch this object when youre experiencing anxiety or frustration. This centers you and helps calm your thoughts. For example, if youre at work and your boss is making you anxious, gently rub the locket around your neck.
Speak With A Professional
If the tips above dont offer enough relief or youd like to go deeper in your self-exploration, it might be worthwhile to explore talking to a therapist, mental health professional, or coach. Remember, while its important to be able to self-soothe, if your anxiety reaches a level that becomes unmanageable or a hindrance in your day to day life, you may want to consider other options. A psychologist, psychiatrist, or coach will help you do just that.
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What Do You Do When Your Partner Is Having A Panic Attack
When your partner is having a panic attack what you can do is:
Stay with your partner and stay calm.
If your partner takes medicine during an attack remember them.
Ask your partner if they need something, do not make any assumptions.
Use simple questions and sentences.
Your behavior needs to be predictable to avoid adding more anxiety to the situation.
Help them to breathe slowly, do it together.
Managing Anxiety Takes Time
Remember, learning how to manage your anxiety takes time. There is no shortcut, and you may sometimes feel that getting there is an uphill battle. By learning what is causing your symptoms, and getting professional assistance, you can control your symptoms.
These tips might make a difference right away or some may not even have an effect, but the essential thing here is to keep trying.
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Do You Need To Vent Or Would You Like Advice
Sometimes, your loved one might need to get it all out, and asking this question indicates that you respect their emotions. Validating their feelings in this way is instantly soothing. Plus, coming off with advice when a person is in a frenzied state can seem condescending. This question opens up the door to let you help them, but it also demonstrates respect for their needs.
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Communicate Your Needs Early On To Your Partner
If you have an anxious attachment style, this may not come intuitively to you, but the earlier and more clearly you can communicate your needs to your partner, the more likely you are to get those needs metand the more likely you are to weed out those people who simply wont be able to meet those needs in the first place.
Let them know how important communication is to you. See if they step up.
Let them know you like compliments and reassurance. Look for their follow through.
Let them know youd like to know when youre going to see them next. Take note of how they respond.
This isnt about testing your partner, its about communicating whats important to you and what makes you feel secure, and seeing if they care enough to make the effort.
I love the way the authors put it in Attached: The more attuned you are to your partners needs at the early stagesand he or she to yoursthe less energy you will need to expend attending to him or her later. Get it out in the open. Ask questions about the needs of the person youre dating and let them in on yours, too.
Youll save yourself a lot of anxiety and worry in the long run if you do this.
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Validate Your Childs Feelings
Validation is a powerful tool for helping kids calm down by communicating that you understand and accept what theyre feeling. Validation is showing acceptance, which is not the same thing as agreement, Dr. Giller explains. Its nonjudgmental. And its not trying to change or fix anything. Feeling understood, she explains, helps kids let go of powerful feelings.
Effective validation means paying undivided attention to your child. You want to be fully attuned so you can notice her body language and facial expressions and really try to understand her perspective, says Dr. Samar. It can help to reflect back and ask, Am I getting it right? Or if youre truly not getting it, its okay to say, Im trying to understand.
Helping kids by showing them that youre listening and trying to understand their experience can help avoid explosive behavior when a child is building towards a tantrum.
Youre Always Worried About Your Relationship
If you are regularly consumed with thoughts of your partner and being worried about what theyre doing, what theyre going to do, or how theyre going to react to a particular situation, its a sign that your partnership is increasing your anxiety.
Instead of being able to get tasks completed, enjoy yourself, or find time to relax, youre spending your free time being worried about your partner in an unhealthy manner. This is another sign that your relationship is giving you increased anxiety.
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If Youre Feeling Scared Or Concerned
Fear, confusion, and uncertainty are completely normal right now.
You might joke about the apocalypse as the world begins to resemble the dystopian setting in your favorite movie or TV series, but generally speaking, fear isnt comfortable.
Most people dont like being afraid of things they cant control.
Instead of trying to bluff your way through what you feel, try talking about it instead. Honesty and authenticity can help bring you closer together.
Acting like nothings wrong, on the other hand, might have the opposite effect. They might get the idea you arent taking things seriously and become irritated or even more fearful as a result.
Beyond general uncertainty about what to expect, you might also have some specific worries about:
- life ever getting back to normal
If one of you still works in a public position, you might have a lot of concerns about potential exposure, which can worsen fear and stress.
But having a plan for how youll handle potential infections can help you feel more in control.
Addressing specific fears can help you come up with potential strategies to help improve even worst-case scenarios. This can empower you and help make the situation seem easier to deal with.
When working through fear, make sure to talk about boundaries.
Its important to talk about your concerns, but ruminating on them or revisiting them again and again generally doesnt help.
Respect each others boundaries around needing space from these topics.
Anxiety Crushes Your True Voice Creating Panic Or Procrastination
Someone who tends to be anxious may have trouble expressing his or her true feelings. It also may be difficult to keep reasonable boundaries by asking for the attention or space that is needed.
Since experiencing anxiety is uncomfortable, subconsciously you may try to postpone the experience of it. On the other hand, anxiety can cause you to believe that something must be talked about immediately, when in fact a short break may be beneficial.
If you dont express what you truly feel or need, anxiety becomes stronger and anxiety destroys relationships. Plus, your emotions may eventually spiral out of control if you keep them in. You may become overwhelmed and defensive.
so acknowledgeyour feelings sooner rather than later. A feeling or concern doesnt have to be a disaster in order for it to be addressed. Approach your partner with kindness, so that youre neither procrastinating nor panicking. Also, find time on your own to unpack some of the thoughts or fears circulating in your mind they are draining your time and energy.
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What Are The Signs Of Relationship Anxiety
If you’re reading this at home, you might be wondering if you experience relationship anxiety. While everyone is different, below you can find some common signs that you’re feeling anxious in your relationship.
You picture things going badly
This negative mindset will always create negative emotions as the body is designed to elicit negative emotion if we’re around negativity. The majority of negative focus is based on assumption, or limiting beliefs, Gary says.
You find it difficult to be present
Anxiety stops you loving to your full potential, and if there is ever something that blocks the ability to be present, it’s anxiety, he explains.
You have negative self-talk
Gary says it’s not the words you say out loud to your partner that create anxiety, it’s the words you whisper to yourself throughout the day.
You feel unclear about what you want or need
Gary says many of his clients disregarded what they needed and valued in the presence of anxiety, because they felt too embarrassed and vulnerable to be clear.
Prepare For A Panic Attack
Panic attacks are brief moments of overwhelming fear or anxiety. They may include symptoms such as a racing/pounding heart, sweating, trembling, shaking, racing thoughts, a sense of terror, or a tightening in the chest.4 The experience can be frightening, but they dont actually cause any physical harm. Panic attacks are typically brief, but very intense and can often appear to come on at random.1 They are often, however, linked to a specific source.
If you are with your partner during a panic attack, you may feel powerless and unsure of how to respond. The best thing to do is stay calm, let them know that you are with them and that they are safe, and remind them that it will pass soon. If you know that they experience panic attacks, it may be helpful to be prepared in advance and find out what techniques have historically been helpful.
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Ask Yourself This Question
One of the most powerful things you can do when you are in the middle of an intense period of anxiety stemming from your romantic life is to ask yourself this question: What would someone with a secure attachment style do? Reframing your experience in this way is like hitting a reset button. Instead of indulging your anxiety and acting on your fears, you can consciously consider how you or someone you know would behave if youor theyfelt secure in the same situation.
For this reason, whether its an individual or a couple, it may be helpful to identify a secure role model to look to when your attachment system is triggered and you feel anxious. How would they behave? Remember, this isnt about acting out in protest behavior but rather about getting your needs met. Focus on ways you can do that without using your anxiety as a guide.
Notice The Good In Your Partner
When interacting with a partner with anxiety, its easy to only recognize the tough moments. The times of heightened anxiety, the tension, and conflict. To build and strengthen your relationship, try forming the habit of seeing and affirming the good in your partner. The first step in affirming is noticing. Catch them doing something well and then genuinely give an affirmation. This is a habit of caring and will help to change the dynamic in a relationship, but especially during times of heightened stress.3
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Anxiety Robs You Of Joy
Experiencing joy requires a sense of safety or freedom. Anxiety makes us feel either fearful or limited. Also, a brain and body trained to stress may have a much harder time enjoying sex and intimacy. Negative thoughts and fears impact a persons ability to be present within a relationship, potentially sucking the joy out of a moment.
so dont take yourself too seriously. You can use your sense of humor to overcome anxiety. Remember to laugh and play with your partner. Joy physically heals and comforts your brain in ways that are vital for a healthy relationship.
How Anxiety Can Impact Your Relationship
If you are dating someone with anxiety, it is likely your loved one spends a lot of time worrying and ruminating on everything that could go wrong or already be wrong with the relationship. Here are some examples of negative thoughts and questions that might be running through their brain:
- What if they dont love me as much as I love them?
- What if theyre lying to me?
- What if theyre hiding something from me?
- What if theyre cheating on me?
- What if they want to cheat on me?
- What if they like someone else more?
- What if my anxiety ruins our relationship?
- What if we break up?
- What if they dont text me back?
- What if Im always the first one to reach out?
- What if they ghost on me?
Most people have at least a few of these negative thoughts. They are a normal part of being in a relationship, especially a new one.
People with an anxiety disorder, however, tend to have these anxious thoughts more frequently and more intensely.
We tend to experience more anxiety when we focus on negative thoughts rather than positive ones.
The anxious thoughts cause physiological symptoms, including shortness of breath, insomnia and an anxiety or panic attack. Someone with anxiety can react to relationship stress with a fight-or-flight response as if the stress were a physical attack.
Sometimes anxious thoughts motivate your partner to act in ways that stress you out and strain the relationship.
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