How Anxiety Destroys Relationships and How to Stop it
Anxiety in Relationships
Anxiety can affect our health in obvious reasons. Mentally, emotionally, and physically. But anxiety can not only affect your own personal health, but possibly the health of your relationship as well. Anxiety can cause periods of panic, feelings of fear or overwhelm, and a general sense of unease and tension. It can take over your thoughts and bleed into many areas of your life. If you are feeling any kind of strain or disconnect in your relationship, anxiety may be playing a role. Whether it be your anxiety or your partner’s, it could be affecting your relationship. There are ways you can stop it and help your relationship from getting to that level of anxiety again.
Anxiety breaks down trust and connection…
Anxiety causes fear and/or worry that can make you less aware of your true needs in any given moment. It can also make you less aware of your partner’s needs and wants. If you are constantly worrying about what could happen, then you are making it difficult to worry about what is happening. If you are feeling overwhelmed, your partner may end up feeling as if you are not fully present.
Instead, train your brain to live in the moment…
If you start to notice or feel a concern as if your thoughts are straying from the present moment, stop and think about what you do know as opposed to what you do not know. Calm down and think before you act. You can then start to build purposeful trust with your partner in your relationship. Be open with your partner about your feelings. Talk with them when you start to worry and feel overwhelmed. Instead of withdrawing completely, use them as leverage to help you get through it.
Anxiety crushes your true voice, creating panic and procrastination…
Someone who is used to feeling anxious and uptight, may have trouble expressing how they truly feel. 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 do not express what you truly feel or need, anxiety becomes stronger. Plus, your emotions may eventually spiral out of control if you keep them in. You may become overwhelmed and defensive.
So acknowledge your feelings sooner rather than later…
A feeling or concern doesn’t have to be a disaster in order for it to be addressed. Approach your partner with kindness, so that you are 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. To find help for anxiety issues through therapy contact us to locate a mental health expert in your local area.
Anxiety causes you to behave selfishly…
Because anxiety is an overactive fear response, someone experiencing it may at times focus too much on his or her own concerns or problems. Your worries and fears may be putting unnecessary pressure on your relationship. You may feel like you need to worry in order to protect yourself in your relationship, but it might be keeping you from being compassionate and vulnerable with your partner. If your partner experiences anxiety, you may build up resentment and react in selfish ways as well. The attitudes and perspectives that we have are contagious. Keeping your stress levels under control is especially hard when your partner is feeling anxious, upset, or defensive.
So attend to your needs, not your fears…
When you notice yourself becoming fearful or defensive, take a moment to consider the compassion that you have for yourself and your partner. Clearly ask for the support you need to feel loved and understood. Apologize for letting anxiety make you self-absorbed.
Anxiety is the opposite of acceptance…
A healthy form of worry will tell you “something is not right”; it comes via that quick pull at your heart or that tight feeling in your stomach. This signal helps you act, such as when you speak up for someone who is being treated poorly. Unhealthy levels of anxiety make you feel as though an emotional “rock” is in your stomach almost all the time. Which can be very unhealthy, holding in your feelings can create a massive discomfort and can often cause more health problems, like depression for example. Anxiety causes you to reject things that are not dangerous and avoid things that might benefit you. It also can stop you from taking healthy action to change things in your life that are hurting you because it makes you feel hopeless or stuck.
So trying practicing being uncomfortable…
You do not need to either ignore or obsess over an uncomfortable thought. Take constructive action if you can. Sometimes your partner just needs you to be present with his or her feelings, and sometimes you need to offer that same gift to yourself. You can show your presence to your partner with soft eyes or a soft touch, and be present for yourself with a calming breath.
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 person’s ability to be present within a relationship, potentially sucking the joy out of a moment.
So do not 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. As anxiety weakens, your relationship strengthens. Building trust within your relationship may reduce the power of anxiety. By understanding how anxiety impacts your relationships, you can create positive change within a relationship dynamic.
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