Happiness is incompatible with fears and anxieties. True love and happy life are revealed to those people who can get rid of their internal tensions and experiences. Most people do not even suspect that they are dealing with severe relationship anxiety. However, it threatens normal life and, of course, a romantic relationship. Today we are going to analyze the causes of the relationship anxiety disorder and give advice on how to deal with relationship anxiety.
What Is Relationship Anxiety?
For the first time, the concept of “anxiety” was singled out by Sigmund Freud, who described it as an emotional state which includes the experience of expectation and uncertainty and a feeling of helplessness. Relationship anxiety is a strong concern about all sorts of things that can negatively affect your relationship. This is a doubt about the upcoming events, when we predict a terrible future, often without good reason.
It is important to distinguish anxiety from fear. Fear is a feeling that arises in response to a real threat to our life or well-being. Unlike fear, anxiety arises when danger is illusory. We become troubled while fretting over the future life with a partner because over and over again, we recall situations from the past, which have caused great suffering. Anxiety about a relationship for no reason is quite a widespread phenomenon. Thus, we are dealing not with reality but with our fantasies. However, anxiety can cause severe physical and mental suffering. And over time, it can turn into panic attacks or anxiety disorder.
Causes of Anxiety
All our worries come from childhood. Anxiety occurs due to insufficiently competent parental behavior. Increased demands in the course of an inadequate appraisal of the real capabilities of the child may cause a constant fear that they do not meet the expectations of parents and do not deserve their love. As a rule, an anxious child is passive, not self-sufficient, has difficulty in building relationships, is inclined to dream and live in a fictional world. With such behavior, parents begin to worry even more, thereby provoking the self-doubt of the child.
However, a child may become anxious when parents are too protective – if there is an atmosphere of excessive care and precaution. Then they get the feeling that they are insignificant, their opinion and desires are really neither needed nor interesting. And if it is so, then the world seems unpredictable and filled with solid dangers. The next scenario is the contradictory demands of the parents: when a father approaches the child-rearing too rigidly, and a mother diminishes all of their demands. Being torn between parents, the child is unable to make decisions, which increases the level of the anxiety.
Not so long ago, the concept of "family anxiety" appeared in psychology. It refers to the state of poorly understood anxiety experienced by one or more family members. Anxiety can cause doubts regarding the continuation of relationships, problems with money, different views on raising children, etc. All this is reflected in the child, they become an indicator of family problems.
Relationship Anxiety Symptoms
The manifestations of anxiety are familiar to everyone. Remember what happened to you the last time you were worried about something? There are various types of relationship anxiety symptoms:
- Physical symptoms of anxiety: these include changes that occur in the body at the physiological level (rapid heartbeat, sweatiness, nausea, dizziness, chest pain); sometimes anxiety is accompanied by dry mouth, coldness, and humidity of the limbs, internal tremors, and specific sensations of cold or emptiness in the stomach.
- Psychological symptoms of anxiety: changes that occur in our minds (depression, uncertainty, fear of losing control, etc.);
- Behavioral symptoms of anxiety: changes in our actions, that is, changes in our behavior that affect other people (psychological blocks, impulsivity, changes in non-verbal communication, frequent irritation, etc.);
- Cognitive symptoms of anxiety: changes that occur in the way of thinking and reasoning (loss of concentration, disturbances in the thinking process, excessive sensitivity, etc.);
- Social symptoms of anxiety: changes that affect the way of communicating and interacting with other people (short temper, difficulties in expressing opinions, self-centeredness, a desire to control everything, etc.).
New Relationship Anxiety
Why there is new relationship anxiety? We would like to bring to your attention 5 the most common triggers of anxiety. The ability to identify, analyze, and correct them will help you stabilize the level of anxiety in your romantic relationship.
1. Stinking thinking
If a person has a tendency to think about their love relationships, career, health, money, etc. in a negative way – it quickly becomes a daily habit. Toxic thoughts strike a serious blow to self-esteem — a system that stabilizes a person. Therefore, it is important to remain realistic and avoid stinking thinking. After all, thoughts become reality.
2. Lack of ambitions
Unclear and abstract ideas about the future of a person cause concern and provoke useless bustle. Setting goals, even if they are not great is of great importance for coping with relationship anxiety. This makes it possible to plan time and stimulates focusing on the present moment. When a person sets a goal and works to achieve it, it is very inspiring for them. And the very achievement of the goal contributes to the production of dopamine – a hormone that reduces anxiety.
Avoiding contact with other people is one of the main triggers for anxiety in a relationship. After all, the active avoidance of any social communication is not a manifestation of personal traits but an indicator of psychological problems. As a rule, these problems only increase anxiety. A long period of loneliness is harmful to a person as it promotes self-chastising and concentration on the negative side of things. Communication with at least one or two close people causes a sense of self-worth and importance, promotes self-knowledge and new achievements.
4. Sleep disturbance
One of the most frequent complaints of modern people is trouble sleeping. Thoughts, impressions, and memories do not allow sleeping peacefully. The situation is repeated from night to night. Fatigue is growing. Such an escalation can lead to the development of panic attacks. To avoid this, do not solve important problems before going to bed. Also, you can schedule pleasant events for the weekend, draw pictures, communicate with loved ones, or drink soothing herbal tea.
There is a misbelief that alcohol helps relax, encourages slick talk, and distracts from problems. This myth makes you think that in times of despair or sadness, you need to drink alcohol to relieve the distress of the soul. But in fact, this idea is extremely bad since alcohol only enhances emotions. Therefore, if a drinker is dealing with apathy, anxiety, sadness, and irritation, alcohol only aggravates their condition.
Dealing with Relationship Anxiety
Many people wonder, “How to overcome the relationship anxiety to make romantic relationships with a loved one strong and happy?” So, we have compiled a list of 7 the best tips for overcoming anxiety.
1. Sort out your feelings
It is important to understand the nature of your anxiety: whether it is real or imaginary. To do this, ask yourself a few questions, "How important and necessary is it for me? What is the worst thing that can happen if everything goes the way I think? And how will everything be if it happens the other way round?" These questions will help you identify what is really important and consequently, get rid of anxiety.
2. Put it baldly what you expect from a relationship
Every person with an anxiety disorder is familiar with endless thoughts about the same thing; they cannot break free of intrusive thoughts, although they understand their inappropriateness. Such a problem can greatly harm the relationship. Anxious people tend to dwell on their thoughts and feelings. They often imagine the worst case scenario. To save love, you should explain to your partner what you expect from the relationship. In such a case, there will be no uncertainty that entails bad feelings and anxiety at the beginning of a relationship.
3. Accept the fact that you cannot fully control the partner
When learning to cope with anxiety disorder, it is important to give up the need to control everything, including what is out of your power — for example, the partner’s weaknesses. A woman may be annoyed that her man hangs out with friends every Sunday during the football season. But she cannot deprive him of all the freedom because of her anxiety.
Anxious people often want to control the situation, which is not always possible. You can explain what you want, but if a partner cannot fulfill all your desires to the smallest detail, it does not mean that they do not match you. It is important to respect and appreciate their individuality – after all, you are completely different people.
4. Tell your partner about the anxiety disorder
You do not have to deal with anxiety alone. Control your feelings and do not try to hide them. Open yourself to your partner and tell them how your anxiety manifests. You can find a way out of the situation. And your partner can be a reliable ally, helping you keep the balance in stressful situations.
When a person tries to hide their anxiety from others, it begins to grow. Tell your partner everything, it will remove unnecessary stress since you no longer have to hide the symptoms of anxiety. Any tense situation can be defused by talking about the problem.
5. Agree on conflict solutions
Anxious people find it difficult to argue and quarrel with someone. Imagine that you had a quarrel with a partner, and they have left, slamming the door. Anxious people are unable to bear uncertainty. To make your life easier, agree on the rules of conflict solutions. For example, you can postpone an unpleasant conversation with a loved one, provided that you will return to it within 24 hours. Discuss the rules in advance to have a plan of action. When you know what will happen next, anxiety decreases.
6. Remember that everything is going to be all right
When your relationship collapses, it may seem like the end of the world. Anxiety does not allow you to put a positive spin on your life. At such times, you should remember that everything is going to be all right. Think, perhaps, someone has already broken your heart in past relationships, and as you can see, you have stood it out well.
Moreover, you had been absolutely okay before you met your current partner. Your life does not end if your relationships break up. If someone does not want to be with you at all, you can do nothing with it. You deserve the one who is willing to love you and move heaven and earth for the sake of you. When anxiety starts making its presence felt, just remind yourself that everything is going be all right. And you will really start to believe it. The less you fear the end of a relationship, the more you can relax and enjoy it.
7. Seek professional help
Overcoming relationship anxiety can be hard. A qualified psychotherapist can help you get rid of the anxiety disorder for a long time. Communication with a specialist allows you to understand the true causes of anxiety and, as a result, learn how to get rid of relationship anxiety once and for all.