You get the out of control feeling in your gut when they don’t come home on time. You get it when you have an argument. You get it for no specific reason at all.
The smallest thing can send your emotions spiraling into a negative tornado.
Let’s identify what this feeling is first.
If you are feeling this way you may be suffering from relationship anxiety.
Relationship anxiety stems from insecurity. When you are insecure about an aspect of yourself you tend to project those feelings into your relationship even if things are going well.
First, keep in mind that it’s very normal and everyone may also experience it at different points in their relationship.
Personally, I feel great at the beginning of a relationship but once things start to get more serious I spiral into panic mode.
What if he leaves me? What if he cheats on me? What if I don’t like him after a few months? What if this person isn’t who he portrays himself to be?
Here are some things I have done personally to help get my thoughts under control.
#1. Identify where the insecurity is stemming from
Recently my partner was at a work event and didn’t tell me when he would be home. Even though I fully trust him, and I knew he was fine I felt the anxiety creeping up through me when I didn’t hear from him for a few hours.
I thought about it and tried to figure out exactly where the insecurity was coming from. I realized that it was due to a previous relationship where I never knew where my partner was and days would go by without hearing from him.
By identifying why you feel insecure it’s easier to work through the feelings and figure out a solution
For example, it allows you the time to figure out how to convey your feelings to your partner in a way that makes sense, such as “Hey honey, I tend to get all up in my own head when I don’t know where you are. Do you mind just sending me a quick update?”
#2. Don’t lose yourself in the relationship
When you struggle with relationship anxiety it can be extremely tempting to want to spend every waking moment with your partner and let them become your sole reason for living.
Doing this is a great way to set up your relationship for failure losing your sense of self is going to result in you losing your confidence and could very likely scare your partner away.
You need to remember that they fell in love with you because of the amazing qualities you process and the traits that make up the person you are.
Prioritize time for your own hobbies, friends, and alone time to keep your mental state healthy.
#3. Engage in a physical activity
I was in an unhealthy relationship a few years ago that was extremely toxic.
While I was in that relationship the only thing that ever relieved my anxiety was doing yoga. In class, the never-ending thoughts would finally come to a halt and I would find a moment of peace that I was desperately seeking.
Exercising increases your serotonin levels which is going to result in you feeling better, even if you just go for a walk.
Now, I’m in a healthy relationship but I still have relationship anxiety. Therefore if the thoughts start spiraling I immediately try to do some form of physical activity.
Exercising increases your serotonin levels so instead of lying on the couch and giving in to the negative thoughts, get your body moving!
#4. Resist the temptation to act on feeling impulses
What does it mean to act on a “feeling” impulse?
Do you remember when I said identifying why you feel insecure can help you explain your feelings in a way that makes sense?
If you DON’T do that, instead your feelings are likely to explode out of you or you’ll do something on impulse.
That could include going through your partner's phone because you have a moment of distrust, placing blame on them for your feelings, or making a rash decision about your relationship in general.
Instead of acting on impulse take a moment to get your feelings under control.
#5. Tap into how you feel towards your partner
The other night I took a moment to think about my partner. While doing so I remembered that I completely trust him and I know in my heart that he isn’t out to hurt me.
I stayed in that space for a few minutes and let thoughts wash over me.
It is so easy to carry our baggage from one relationship into the next but it’s important to think about who we are dating now, not the people from our past.
Dig deep and ask yourself if you trust your partner and if you feel like they treat you well.
It’s possible that you won’t be able to completely avoid relationship anxiety but you can utilize the aforementioned tools to work through the anxiety and being fully present in your relationship.