While no relationships are perfect, some are definitely better (and by “better,” we mean “healthier,” then others). But how do you know the difference and when should you take flight (not fight)?
In even the healthiest of relationships, anxiety can still be powerfully present – and that’s not always a bad thing. When we say anxiety, we’re not talking about the I’m-about-to-do-something-super-exciting-but-scary “butterflies” in your belly that may leave you perched somewhere between ecstatic and ready to puke but in a harmless kind of way. Rather, when we say anxiety, we’re more aptly referring to the I-can’t-focus-on-anything-because-I-feel-so-uncomfortable-I-cannot-breathe sensation that’s more likely to leave you paralyzed with fear than hunched over in anticipation.
Anxiety is perhaps one of the most uncomfortable emotions. We feel it in our stomachs, legs, throats and chests. It feels like trapped, frantic energy, often is accompanied by an upset stomach and, in severe cases, can be described as “gut wrenching.” For many of us, we feel anxiety when we’ve disconnected from our inner most selves and instead allowed our attention to latch on to something (or someone) else, beyond our control.
But know this: no matter what the situation or person involved, there is always a way to handle anxiety and move through it. Here’s how…
Recognize what is happening. With awareness, you will now have a better grasp on what is it is you are feeling and why. In this awareness, you can easily use these steps and tips to ease out of anxiety and into desired peace.
Ask yourself what you need. Anxiety happens when our attention leaves our inner selves and latches on to another person, in hopes that they will do or say something to ease the discomfort. It can feel like a tornado of obsession if not dealt with correctly. Therefore, in those moments when you first notice anxiety, immediately ask yourself what you need. While your gut reaction answer may be “I need him to apologize” or “I need her to give me what is mine,” these initial thoughts still involve another person. Asking yourself what you need means figuring out an answer that relies solely on you. So, perhaps you need to take a walk, hit the gym, take a nap, call a friend or even call the person you are anxious about. Or, you may need to comfort yourself in this moment and not involve other people. The remedy for anxiety will not always look the same, all the more reason to check in and take care of you.
Be cautious and love yourself. While it is not uncommon to feel anxious at times, especially within the confines of a romantic relationship, this anxiety can sometimes be part of a deeper issue around codependency. Make sure you look deeper to be sure that the anxiety you’re experiencing isn’t indicative of a larger problem and to always remove yourself from any dangerous or intense situations and to always surround yourself with love.