Relationship Anxiety: 20 Mistakes You Need to Stop Making
Relationship anxiety can be like a cancer in any relationship. If you are overly anxious in your current union, the only one who can change that is you.
Those who have a tendency to experience anxiety can have a hard time in relationships. Anxiety is something that can make even the best relationship tense and mistrustful. If you have been hurt in the past or have trust issues, you may be guiding the relationship anxiety in your current partnership.
Sometimes, the hardest thing to learn in life is that no matter how hard you try to control things or those around you, you can’t. Trying to hold onto someone or a relationship with too much fervor will end up unhealthy smothering. Anxiety is a horrible feeling. It can make you tense and can distract you from being able to enjoy the life that you have with your significant other.
Relationship anxiety: Is it killing you alive?
The only way to let go of the anxiety that you feel in your relationship is by learning that you can’t ever predict what is going to happen, nor can you control the outcome of any situation. The only thing steering the ship is fate, and no matter how much we want something to happen, it only will if it is supposed to. Keep these 20 mistakes and tips in mind for getting rid of relationship anxiety for good!
#1 Stop trying to control everything. No matter how much we want everything to go a certain way, trying to micromanage every aspect of our lives and relationship isn’t going to help. Often, the behaviors that we exhibit get the exact opposite of what we want. If you hold onto things too tightly, you are liable to squeeze the life right out of them. Loosen up and allow yourself to be along for the ride sometimes. [Read: 20 glaring signs you have a control freak in you]
#2 Sometimes, there’s simply nothing you can do to change a situation. Anxiety comes from trying too hard when there is nothing you can do. If your desire is to keep the relationship together, the truth is that if it’s meant to be, then it will happen naturally. If someone loves you, there isn’t a thing you can do to make them stop. Stop worrying about what will be, and just enjoy the ride.
#3 Realize that your relationship anxiety is also hurting your partner. Anxiety often makes us push others away. When you are anxious, it affects not only you, but also the people around you. Like standing next to constant turmoil, anxiety-ridden people are uncomfortable to be with, and they make interactions difficult. Instead of being anxious about your relationship, take the time to see how your behavior can produce positive effects by just being yourself and going with the flow. [Read: Abandonment issues and how it affects your relationship]
#4 Take a deep breath and think about your actions before you take them. When we are anxious, we are more likely to react without thought. That can lead you to constantly overreact, which is a self-perpetuating cycle to be on. Put the anxiety at bay and take the time to rationalize any given situation before you respond to it. Time is the best anxiety cure there is.
#6 If you feel something, don’t let it build. The worst thing you can do if you are an anxious person is to keep everything bottled up inside. Like a pressure cooker, if you don’t let those feelings out as they come, they are likely to get out of control. Before you know it, you are overwhelmed and screaming like a crazy person. Instead, it’s much better to communicate your fears with your partner than to try to constantly hide them. [Read: Stress ruining your relationship? 10 signs and quick fixes]
#7 Don’t write your own story. Anxious people have a tendency to let situations get away from them or to exaggerate what is happening. The more they ruminate over things, the bigger they become, but only in their own mind. Before you create an entire story in your head, try to separate what is real from what you have created. Don’t make a mountain from a molehill because of your relationship anxiety.
#8 Stop over analyzing. Putting meaning, intention, or assumptions into any situation has the potential to make it more dramatic than it needs to be. If you overanalyze things, simple words suddenly turn into emotion-laden ones. Before you know it, you’re in a major fight with your partner, and neither of you has any idea what you’re even fighting about in the first place.
#9 Don’t wait for the shoe to drop. If you are always looking for signs that something is amiss or that a shoe is going to drop, you may have relationship anxiety. This can make you feel like there is always something lurking to make things complicated. Even when things are calm, you are looking for something to go wrong. But this may cause drama in your relationship where none should exist.
#10 Try not to let your past creep into your future. It is difficult not to let a past event creep into your mind in a current relationship, especially if it was something traumatic. No one wants to be hurt or disappointed. But if you are breathing all sorts of anxiety into your relationship, you are probably creating a scenario of a self-fulfilling prophecy. If you don’t put your past in the past, then it is going to destroy your future. [Read: How to let go of the past and be excited by the future]
#11 Figure out what your triggers are. If you notice that certain topics or even people trigger your feelings of relationship anxiety, try to stop those triggers dead in their tracks. Often, when we get stuck in a fight cycle, it is because of triggers that cause anxiety and cause us to overreact. Don’t sit and stew over these trigger points. Instead, take a deep breath, change the conversation, or remove yourself from the situation.
#12 Have a vent buddy. If you’re feeling anxious, don’t poke the bear. If you start to feel a breakdown coming on, pick up the phone and call a friend who knows that you are a crazy, anxiety-ridden nut, yet loves you anyway. Knowing that you are just overreacting, they will know how to talk you out of whatever scenario you have created in your mind.
#13 Have distractions in your life. The worst thing for any anxious person is idle time. Idle minds truly are a devil’s playground. If all you have to do is sit around and overanalyze everything and to compartmentalize your relationship, you are never going to have any peace for yourself or your partner. [Read: How to make the absolute most out of your alone time]
You know that being anxious and scared all the time is a horrible feeling, so find something to fill the empty spaces you feel so that there isn’t room for negative thought to creep in and start you down the wrong path again.
#14 Don’t put all of your energy into one thing. The anxious people I know typically have one focal point in their life and ignore the peripheral of the situation. If all you are doing is focusing on your relationship, then you are going to overanalyze and overthink it. A healthy relationship is full of friends, family, good times, and laughter.
If all you can think about is the state of your relationship, not only is that obsessive, but it isn’t healthy, either. Put your energy into many things in your life, including yourself. Instead of worrying so much about where your relationship is headed, think about how you can take steps to make yourself a better person and happier all around.
#15 Let things go. If you find that you’re constantly looking for something from your significant other and they simply can’t give it to you, learn to let it go. Stop feeling like your better half is trying to create conflict intentionally or push your anxiety buttons. The reality is that they are probably walking on eggshells trying not to set off the intensity that comes from your relationship anxiety. Learn to pick your battles and give up the need to “win” all the time. [Read: How to fight fair in a relationship and grow closer]
#16 Learn when it’s time to walk away. If you can’t resolve your issues, know when to give up and walk away. It isn’t healthy to stay in an argument that’s going around in circles. Know when something isn’t going to get resolved and it’s time to just wave the white flag and walk away.
#17 Don’t self-medicate. If you are anxiety-ridden about your relationship, drinking or doing drugs to self-medicate is only going to make matters worse. Alcohol will not only loosen your inhibitions, but it will steer you out of control. This can lead to even more problems within your relationship.
#18 Be active. Anxiety is driven by a hormone called adrenaline. Thus, there are sometimes physical and chemical reasons for your relationship anxiety. Once you get that rush of adrenaline or feelings of anxiety, a ten-minute walk can help it to move through the body and relax your parasympathetic system enough to start thinking more rationally. Exercise is one of the best ways to overcome your anxiety. [Read: 25 inspirational tips to get motivated and work out]
#19 Be honest. The more you try to hide how you feel, the worse it will get. If you can’t talk to your significant other about your emotions, it may be worthwhile to see a therapist. Sometimes, the anxiety you feel is the symptom of something much greater than the state of your relationship. If it gets to the point where it’s ruling your union and is also overriding your quality of life, it may be time to take bigger steps to overcome it.
#20 Know you aren’t alone. Anxiety is something that everyone feels. You don’t have to hide it or be ashamed of it. Relationships can make you feel vulnerable and bring out your greatest fears. Take heart, you are not the only one going through tough times. It will get better if you can just ride it out, breathe, and try to relax a little.
Anxiety is one of the worst feelings you can experience, especially if it never goes away. If you are experiencing relationship anxiety, it will likely not go away on its own. But by keeping these 20 tips and mistakes in mind, you can help to keep your anxiety in check and lead a happier, more fulfilled life.