In a relationship either friendship or intimate you need trust, passion,love, humour, vulnerability and more for them to work but with anxiety in tow this can be very hard to accomplish.
Anxiety definitely works in a weird way, and it will impact all relationships differently, so not all of the following will be relevant for every relationship but it’s definitely relevant for me.
I struggle very hard when it comes to relationships in fact I just avoid them at all costs that is easier than facing my fear of anxiety and panic attacks. I know this needs to change but I’m totally at a loss on where to even start, I’m terrified that if I go on a date or let someone into my house I’ll take a panic attack and pass out or something like that I’m totally beyond the point of even knowing anymore.
Also my weight is a huge issue just now I’m anxious every single day that people are looking at me or judging me because I’m overweight. I know it’s because of medication I take and I work on it every single day trying to better myself but nothing makes me feel better. Why would someone want me? I’m nothing exciting to look at and I’m totally embarrassed by it.
Today I wanted to share with you some ways I’ve found through research that can help you to strengthen your relationship and protect it from the impact of anxiety.
Ways to protect your relationship from anxiety!
1) Keep the emotional resources topped up.
If your anything like me you are probably super sensitive to the needs of others and give openly and abundantly t the relationship you are in. I know I have a bad habit of giving too much and trying to make people overly happy with me because I feel so bad about myself.
Sometimes though, the anxiety you suffer can drain those resources from the relationship just as quickly as you invest them.
This is completely okay though there is plenty of good that comes with loving you to make up for this. But it may mean that you have to keep making sure those resources are topped up regularly.
2) Let your partner see you as a supportive person too.
In past relationships I’ve had parters who were very reluctant to share or burden me with their problems or worries because I had so many of my own however I think this is wrong people with anxiety have so much strength.
It is impossible to live with anxiety without it, so make sure your partner knows that it doesn’t matter how big or small their struggles are, you can be the supportive one sometimes too.
Be deliberate in being the rock sometimes too. Ask, hold, touch. There’s nothing more healing than the warmth of the person you love.
3) Let your partner in on what you’re thinking.
Anxious thoughts are supremely personal, but always try and let your partner in on them, It’s an important part of intimacy
You will often be thinking about what you need to do to feel safe, what feels bad for you and what could go wrong.
You will also have an enormous capacity to think of other people anxious people always do, but make sure that you let you partner in on the thoughts that arrest you.
4) Asking for reassurance is absolutely okay.
Anxiety always seems to have a way of creeping into your life when you least expect or want it. When it’s left unchecked, it can make you doubt the things that don’t deserve to be doubted, such as your relationship.
It’s completely okay and very normal to ask your partner for reassurance. Too much though and it could be felt as neediness. Neediness is the enemy of desire and over time can smother the spark.
5) Show your partner your vulnerability.
Anxiety can effect your relationships in many different ways. In some people, it brings the need for constant reassurance. In others, it causes them to hold back, to lessen their vulnerability to possible heartache.
Vulnerability, being open to another is beautiful and it’s the essence of successful, healthy relationships.
The problem with protecting yourself too much is that it can invite the very rejection you’re trying to protect against.
Always try to open yourself up to loving and being loved and anything could happen.
6) Don’t project anxiety onto your relationship.
Anxiety can be triggered by nothing in particular, that’s one of the worst things about it, it likes to creep up when you least expect it.
If you’re in an intimate relationship, that’s of course where the bullseye will sit, drawing your anxiety into its gravitational pull.
This can raise feelings of doubt, jealousy, suspicion and insecurity. Anxiety can be a rogue like that.
Worry if you have to, but then see it for what it is just ‘anxiety’ not truth. You are loved and you have anxiety and you are okay.
Please let that be the truth that holds you.
7) The tough conversations are the ones that can bring you closer.
I know that all relationships have to deal with tough times now and then but anxiety can make things way more threatening and bigger than they actually are.
The temptation might be to avoid talking about difficult issues with your partner, because of concerns about what it might do in the relationship.
Difficult issues don’t go away they always have the habit of festering until they reach boiling point. Trust that your partner and of course you can cope with a hard discussion and get past it together.
8) Let your partner in on what it’s like to be you.
Humans are definitely complex creatures and bringing someone in closer to you even if it is someone who has been with you for a while is the sign of total intimacy.
People change, stories change, and even in intimate relationships it’s easy to lose touch with the person who fall asleep next to at night-time.
Let your partner in on what your anxiety is like for you. Talk about your thoughts, how anxiety is affecting you, your work, your relationship, your partner, and how grateful you are for the love and support.
9) Always laugh together.
This is so important! In fact one of the most important things in your relationship. Laughter is a natural antidote to the stress and tension that comes with anxiety.
Laughing together will tighten the connection between you and when there has been a stressful few days it will help you both to remember why you fell in love with each other. Anxiety has a way of making you forget that life wasn’t meant to be taken seriously all the time.
Falling in love is meant to be magical, but getting close to another person isn’t without it’s highs and lows at the best of times. Intimacy is a vehicle for every possible emotion. Anxiety does effect relationships, but by being open to its impact and deliberate in responding to it, you can protect your relationship making it one that is really strong, very close and resilient to anything coming your way!
Now I need to put my anxiety to the side and let people get to know the real me the Kim who does suffer from anxiety but that doesn’t define her. She is a geeky lass who loves spending time with her daughters, watching horror movies, having cosy nights in and going on adventures. That’s the real me.
I hope this post may help put a few things in perspective like it has done for me.