Overcoming Relationship Anxiety
According to an author and matchmaker, Hellen Chen, over 85% of dating ends up in breakups. It can be due to unmet expectations where one wanted to get married while the other person does not. In some cases, it can also be due to relationship anxiety. Published by Hypnosis in London on 25 August 2016, written by Malminder Gill.
Being in a relationship is one of the things many of us aspire for. It’s a beautiful thing where we can grow and learn but it can also be a breeding ground for anxious feelings and thoughts.
Relationship anxiety can happen at any stage of dating. For people who have been single for long, just the thought of being in a relationship can trigger their anxiety. Thoughts like “does he/she like me?” “am I good enough for him/her?” or “will this work out?” can bother people especially as they open more about themselves and as they feel that they are becoming more vulnerable to another being.
These thoughts don’t help in building relationships. In many cases, it destroys them.
Researchers from Case Western Reserve University found out that worries can impact one’s social relationships. This can be relationships with the family, with a significant person, or work relationships. According to the study, worries can harm relationships as it can impact the way a person deals with another person. Anxious people in the relationship may appear cold, intrusive, exploitable, and non-assertive.
Causes of Relationship Anxiety
Relationship anxiety can happen as a result of different things. It can be due to fear of intimacy, negativity, and stress.
Fear of Intimacy
A person with fear of intimacy struggles in forming close relationships with other people. These people may feel like they care and love greatly the people who matter to them but for those they are in a relationship with, they appear as if they don’t care for them.
Fear of intimacy can be the result of parenting practices. In one study published in The Family Journal, it was found out that adults who have warm, caring relationship with at least one parent or those whose mothers exhibited high levels of warmth and care were less likely to suffer from fear of intimacy.
Adults showing an avoidant behavior in relationships are shown to be those who grow up with parents who react negatively to children’s perceived weakness and neediness.
Fear of intimacy can trigger anxiety in relationships especially when the avoidant person realizes that he/she is becoming more vulnerable to another person.
Negativity towards one’s self in the form of self-critique and negativity towards the relationship can also cause anxiety in the relationship.
Thoughts like “I can’t trust him” or “I’m not good enough for him” can lead people in relationship to turn against themselves and affect the way they deal with others. It creates feelings of jealousy, anxiety, defensiveness, and distrust. These feelings create more worries in the relationship rather than happiness.
Stress doesn’t just affect one’s physical health; it also impacts relationships. Evidence shows that stress can be a threat to marital satisfaction and longevity. This may be due to the fact that stress can lead a person to have anxious thoughts, make it difficult for him/her to make decisions, and lead to feeling of inability to cope.
Dealing With Relationship Anxiety
One way to deal with relationship anxiety is to shift your focus inward. Start by finding out what causes your anxiety in your relationship.
If chronic stress triggers that anxiety, then you may try doing some stress-relieving techniques. These include doing regular physical activity, practicing mindfulness, and making sure that you’re getting sufficient sleep. One study shows that sleep deprivation can lead to elevation of cortisol the following evening. Cortisol is a steroid hormone that is typically released when one stressed.
Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is another way to address relationship anxiety. It is particularly useful for those whose cause of anxiety is brought by negativity such as negative thoughts about one’s self. CBT has been shown to work well for individuals with depression. In CBT, the client and the therapist works together to agree on certain behavioral patterns that need to be changed; this includes negative thinking.
Hypnotherapy is another useful therapy for relationship therapy. In my practice, I make use of guided hypnosis to help clients deal with certain issues like fear and negative thinking. Hypnotherapy helps as it puts one into a completely relaxed state where they can be more open for positive suggestions.
Hypnotherapy for anxiety can make a person more calm and “balanced.” It works for almost any type of anxiety disorder including social anxiety and panic attacks.
Being in a relationship will teach you a lot of things. Don’t let your anxious thoughts and feelings keep you from making the most of your relationships. Know that there are things you can do to overcome the anxiety.