Anxiety is a b*tch. Especially in relationships, it has the ability to send your mind into overdrive, over-obsessing about every minute detail of the relationship.
“Does he love me as much as I love him?” “How can I make her stay?” “What if I screw things up?”
Anyone can develop relationship anxiety and it can happen at any stage of the relationship.
It can unfold even between two people who belong together. Crazy, right?
You could be walking in seventh heaven one minute, and just suddenly get this overwhelming feeling of uneasiness like a knot has formed in your stomach, followed by a flurry of unwarranted thoughts racing through your mind faster than an F1 race.
Over time, relationship anxiety can not only form a wedge between you and your lover, but cause you a great amount of emotional distress that can even lead to physical side effects.
Ladies, and gents, like always, we care about your wellbeing!
So, we did our research into methods of overcoming relationship anxiety and are happy to deliver these ways to stop stressing about your relationship.
- Tips on overcoming relationship anxiety
Tips on overcoming relationship anxiety
1) Talk about your anxiety
Anxiety is nothing to be ashamed of, and it’s certainly not something you should keep bottled up.
As most anxious people will know, you can’t just sweep anxiety under the carpet.
Trying to conceal it will only bring you even more unneeded stress.
You may already be working towards managing your anxiety, but having a support system who understands to help you through it will make things ten times easier.
Opening up helps to diffuse the situation, and it also keeps the abhorrent thoughts at bay.
2) Realise and acknowledge stress
When you care too much about something like your relationship, you do your best to ensure nothing bad happens to it. This invites stress.
Stress serves no purpose in relationships. It causes your mind to stir up conspiracy theories about yourself. Majority of the time, they’re not even close to the truth.
Realising this, and acknowledging that stress has the power to cloud your real judgements is important in having the upper hand when it comes to managing anxiety.
3) Be present
Anxiety has the ability to take you out of the relationship and bring you to a disturbing place where there is just you and your thoughts alone.
Rather than paying attention to your lover who’s right in front of you, it causes you to fixate on the thoughts and worries in your mind instead.
The best way to get out of this dark place is to always remind yourself to be present.
Worrying about what may or may not happen in the future will only distract you from the present and your chances of developing a real connection.
Each time you feel your mind wandering off, work to bring your attention to what/who is right in front of you. Meditation exercises also help.
4) Talk about your insecurities
If you’ve experienced anxiety, you’re probably familiar with the unwanted spiral of thoughts or worry loops that can creep up to cause havoc at any time.
Oftentimes, they’re illogical and senseless, yet your mind obsesses over them for no apparent reason.
As opposed to spiralling out of control, share your insecurities with your significant other so that they are aware of the mental and emotional toils you’re going through.
Silence will only aggravate the situation both inside and out.
Talking about your insecurities is the first step, the next is building trust to put these insecurities to rest.
If your partner truly cares about you, they will work towards creating a safe space where your insecurities won’t even stand a chance.
5) Set a panic deadline
Let’s face it, we’ve all prematurely freaked out about something at least once in our lives. It could be feelings of heartbreak and being ghosted when the person you’ve been texting with suddenly stops replying to you for days.
You send a heartfelt text to ‘confront’ them only to find out they were just really busy with life and was actually looking forward to the next date!
This is anxiety at its finest, causing you to hit the panic button and diving headfirst into freak out mode.
To prevent your anxiety from jumping the gun, give the situation some time to play out.
Doing this will also give you time to take control of your feelings about the situation, and how you choose to react to the matter at hand.
6) Have no expectations
When you have expectations in a relationship, the stakes of the relationship increases as you obsess over the expected outcome.
You will also instantly feel a lack whenever it is not fulfilled.
Shift your focus from expecting to experiencing every moment in detail, and just have fun with each other!
It’s natural to want to have some plan about what the future holds for the both of you, but rather than putting so much effort in making it work, enjoy the ride and let it bloom naturally.
7) Be vulnerable
Anxiety is mostly caused by past experiences and trauma, which causes insecurities to develop over time.
It’s our body’s defence mechanism building a wall, trying to prevent us from making the same mistakes and going through the same affliction.
However, being in a relationship means opening up and sharing parts of yourself with someone else. No matter how messy or how ugly, if the person truly wants you, they will learn to accept and love all sides of you.
Practice being vulnerable with your partner in stages to build up your self-confidence. Soon, the confidence you have in the relationship will grow too.
8) Learn to let go (of control)
A big part of managing anxiety is also letting go of the things you can’t control – like your S.O’s frustrating patterns.
The more you feel the need to establish control over your partner, they end up feeling trapped in the relationship and the further you will drive them away.
It’s okay if they want to spend the whole Sunday fishing instead of going to brunch. Why not use the opportunity to have some well-deserved me-time?
Instead of trying to control your partner, celebrate each other’s individuality and make the most out of it.
9) Set rules for arguments
Arguments are the perfect breeding ground for relationship anxiety.
Don’t you just hate it when someone walks away mid-argument?
For people dealing with anxiety, this can be especially stressful as the mind begins weaving a net of “what if’s”.
Before this happens, discuss with your partner about ways to ease your anxiety during and post-argument. It could be something like giving each other some space for x amount of time whenever there’s a falling out.
Walking away isn’t a sign that they’re giving up on you or the relationship.
At times, it’s good to walk away from a heated argument just to have a clearer head before you both say something you regret.
10) Be aware of projecting anxiety onto your relationship
Anything or even nothing can trigger anxiety, that’s what makes it so vile.
It attaches itself to something it can feed off, injecting negativity such as feelings of insecurity, doubt, jealousy, and suspicion.
Usually, this is something you really really care about, like your relationship or an important job interview.
When this happens, it’s important to remind yourself to separate anxiety from the truth.
Remember that worrying is normal, but letting it consume you will end up ruining the relationship too. Isn’t this the very thing you are trying to prevent?
In the end, whatever you are worried about might not even be what’s really happening.
These tips to stop worrying aren’t a quick fix, you won’t stop worrying overnight.
Take some time to contemplate them, relate them to your own feelings, your own experience, and soon enough, you will learn to manage your thoughts.
A lot of it also comes down to just talking to yourself.
No, not out loud in the MRT or at the malls.
But instead of sitting in the passenger seat and letting anxiety take the wheels, give yourself pep talks to snap yourself back into being in the present whenever you feel the negative thoughts seeping in.
If you still haven’t found that special someone you don’t want to let go of, we suggest you get onto Sugarbook now where Mr. or Mrs. right awaits!