Are You Feeling Anxiety About Your Relationship?
If you are like many attached women, the loving relationship you maintain in your home has the power to sustain you. This is because you enjoy nurturing the bond with your partner and want to feel loved in return. Once there are problems in the relationship, this bond can be a source of stress and anxiety. What used to sustain you is now stressing you out and making it hard to keep up with your job and personal obligations. You don't know how to fix the problem because there are two people in the relationship, but you also find it hard to be honest with yourself about the situation.
What is Making You Tense?
Have you found yourself in a tense situation and realized you were holding your breath? It's typical to stop and reflect on questions like these:
- Why am I so stressed out?
- What am I afraid of?
- How can I change this situation?
- Do I need to remove myself from this situation to calm down?
There are different reasons that adults experience fear. Sometimes, the reasons are related to external factors that feel beyond our control, such as riding in a car or getting bitten by a dog. At other times, our fears stem from negative perceptions or past experiences. Both kinds of fears, whether real or imagined, feel real to us in the moment and affect our ability to live a normal, happy life.
Recognizing Signs of Fear and Anxiety
On one level, when you ask yourself questions about your fears, such as a small child being afraid of a spider, you might make yourself feel more distressed. You need a strategy to relieve your heightened state, such as sitting down and drawing a picture or doing controlled breathing exercises. In reality, adults and kids feel paralyzed by fears daily and need strategies for limiting the effects of fear on their day. However, sometimes, the anxiety is about external conditions. For example, you could be afraid of going home to face your partner after work each day. You might find it easier to stay at work late and avoid arguing or rehashing recent events. Living with anxiety takes a toll on your health and emotional well-being. Believe it or not, your partner also feels it when you're frequently anxious. When you seek couples therapy, you can address sources of anxiety in your long-term relationship and find new strategies for improving your home-life. Without therapy, you and your partner could continue in the same negative patterns. If your living situation is not remedied, negative patterns could ultimately drive you apart and accelerate the end of your relationship.
How Your Body Responds to Fear
Before you address your relationship, learn more about the effects of anxiety and fear on yourself. You will need to improve yourself in order to heal your relationship problems. Physical effects of anxiety occur every time you feel the onset of fear. Here's a description of a typical physical response. Your body first recognizes fear in a part of the brain called the amygdala. According to Harvard Women's Health Watch, "As neurotransmitters carry the impulse to the sympathetic nervous system, heart and breathing rates increase, muscles tense, and blood flow is diverted from the abdominal organs to the brain." At a minimum, being stressed means that your body does not physically receive enough blood flow to the essential organs in the abdomen. The longer that you allow yourself to remain anxious, the longer it takes for your body to resume normal blood flow.
What Happens With Fear
You could look at fear as a problem to be solved much like you would look for ways to stop overeating, lose weight, and feel better about your body image. When uncontrolled, a fear could stop you from starting your daily routine or leaving your home. If a fear starts to enter your mind and you feel like you're losing control, you could lose minutes or hours thinking about that subject matter. Some people call this negative thinking "stewing," and others call it rumination. Whatever you call it, it's hard to shake negative thoughts. Whether you're wondering why someone didn't respond to your dating app message or you really want a call for a job interview, allowing negative thoughts to replay in your mind won't change the outcome. This unproductive thinking will simply consume much of your day. During the "waiting" period while you're trying to control your thoughts or switch them to another topic, your body could be distressed — sweating, rapid breathing, headache, stomach pains, etc. If you let this physical state continue for any length of time, there could be potential harm to your body.
Finding New Coping Strategies for Anxiety in Therapy
Therapists like Mary Shull specialize in teaching coping strategies for anxiety. Some strategies help you to avert your mind from negative thought patterns. Other strategies help you to face a fear, break it down, and prove it wrong. A counselor also helps you analyze relationships and conditions in your life that could be causing your anxiety, such as harmful connections to family members, friends, or co-workers. If you are in a troubled relationship, you should learn to control your anxiety so that you can have better interactions with your partner. For example, you can work on your own fears, feel less stressed, and then present a more flexible and positive attitude when spending time with your partner. Also, therapy with Mary can teach you to change your responses to various social situations so you can improve them or avoid them.
You and your partner deserve the best chance for a happy future. If you avoid the problems, they will get worse. Start taking control of your life again by starting therapy with a professional whose approach matches your present situation. Confidential therapy to deal with anxiety and relationship issues is recommended for people who have unsuccessfully attempted to manage their fears. Without therapy, you could waste more time worrying and missing out on positive experiences each day. Feel better about yourself and hopeful about your relationship by seeking help today!