Relationship anxiety is more common than you might think, but it can look different for everyone. You might be worried that your partner, family members, or even friends will leave you, so you do whatever you can to keep them close. Or, your anxiety might make you worried about people getting too close. So, you find ways to push them away.
Whatever your symptoms or what triggers your relationship anxiety, it’s important to find ways to manage it. Feeling at least somewhat in control of your fears will make it easier to feel comfortable in your relationships and make things much better for the people in your life. So, what can you do to manage relationship anxiety? Let’s cover seven strategies to keep your symptoms at bay.
1. Get to the Root of the Problem
The best thing you can do to start managing your relationship anxiety is to figure out what’s causing it. Maybe you struggle with low self-esteem. Maybe you’re scared of commitment. Or, maybe something from your past is causing you to deal with extreme fear regarding your current connections. Getting to the root cause of your anxiety needs to be the first step in symptom management and treatment.
2. Let Yourself Feel
It’s not uncommon for people with anxiety to try to ignore their emotions. Or, you might try to push them down and hide your symptoms. That might work for a while, but not for long. Emotions will always demand to be felt. The longer you try to ignore them, the worse your symptoms are likely to become. When you acknowledge and accept your feelings, it’s easier to focus on changing them.
3. Try Deep Breathing
Sometimes, anxiety can come on quickly and without warning. Having a few management techniques in your arsenal can make those moments easier to deal with. Deep breathing, meditation, and mindfulness are great ways to manage relationship anxiety when it strikes.
4. Work On Healthy Relationships
If your anxiety comes from past troubles, you can work on overcoming it over time by focusing on building healthy, trusting relationships. That includes romantic connections, of course. But, it should also include your familial relationships, as well as friendships.
The stronger your relationships are, the more you can start to take control of your anxiety. Focus on communication within your relationships. Talk to the people in your life about how you feel. When you realize that they’ll still be there to support you, even when you’re anxious, that fear will start to subside.
Couples Counseling Boulder by Darleen Gegich MA LPC
5. Learn to Separate Facts and Feelings
Your feelings are valid. No matter what, don’t try to dismiss them, and don’t let anyone tell you that you’re not feeling them. However, feelings aren’t always based on reality for people with anxiety. Just because you’re scared about something doesn’t mean that situation is real or true. Emotions make it easy to jump to conclusions and are often negative.
Take a deep breath the next time you’re anxious, talk to your partner, a friend, or a family member, and do your best to separate what you’re feeling from the facts of a situation.
6. Show Gratitude to Your Support System
When you have relationship anxiety, the people in your life can end up experiencing the effects of that first-hand. By affirming that you’re grateful for them, you’ll not only increase their support, but you can boost your feelings of positivity.
Fighting back against negative feelings can ease the effects of your anxiety and help you fight back against unrealistic fears. A little bit of gratitude goes a long way.
7. Don’t Manage Your Fears Alone
Anxiety is one of the most manageable mental health conditions, but that doesn’t mean you have to tackle it alone. A strong support system is important. It is essential to have people in your life who will be there for you, whether you try to push them away or keep them too close.
However, sometimes professional help is necessary. If you’re struggling with relationship anxiety, feel free to make an appointment. We’ll get to the root cause of your fears and go through skills and techniques you can use to manage your symptoms while working through your worries.
About the author:
Darleen Gegich, MA LPC is a psychotherapist with over 20 years of experience. She specializes in couples and family relationships, anxiety, and trauma. Darleen is trained in Imago Relationship Therapy, Family Systems Psychology, Brainspotting, and Sensorimotor psychotherapy. Darleen has offices in Boulder and Longmont, CO and sees clients online and in-person.