June 11, 2021

Podcast 48: Anxiety in Relationships

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10 Keys to Help Relationships with Anxiety

Podcast (Audio Only)

We will discuss 10 ways to handle anxiety situations

Joanne Williams, LCSW discusses Anxiety affects on relationships. Don’t we all know the worrier in relationships and how they say they will do something and then change their mind at the last minute, after the tickets are bought? Anxiety can get between not only partners, but friends or couples and seem to control the entire experience.  It can be frustrating for everyone to the point where you don’t even want to do things with that couple anymore.

Do you know the couple that the one person in it is constantly worried that everything will not go as planned and they freak out in the restaurant at the waiter, because the meal was cold or the wine spilled? Or worse you made vacation plans 6 months ago and It is all planned and the couple pulls out at the last moment, because the women refuses to fly, for fear the plane will crash. You are left feeling like you are holding the bag for the expenses and feel now you have to scramble to find another couple which adds added stress on you?

This situation is being affected by anxiety, even when you may think it is just rude and irresponsible behaviors.  The fear is represented as a fear of dying IF SHE flys, worrying about things that haven’t happened or of the unknown, irritability can be a symptom where the person may fly off the handle at the least little thing, like wine spilling at the restaurant.  Or needing ridge rules to not feel out of control.

Do you experience irritability when you are stressed, or does your partner or boss. How does that effect your day or your work or your relationships? Not well as I have observed as a marriage counselor of 30 years.

We will discuss 10 ways to handle anxiety situations if that is a feature in your relationship.

Anxiety can stress any kind of Relationship, whether it is your marriage, coworkers, or family members. Some of the ways to help lower anxieties effect on relationships are making sure that you are doing everything you can to keep your own strengths, passions, values and lifestyle consistent. It can make you a happier person and less likely to be as affected by your partners, irritability or controlling ways.

It will make it easier for you to stick to the relationship rules that you agreed on without emotions and stick to the facts.

You also need to communicate your own anxieties to your loved ones. If you are afraid about the next meeting or event you should tell your loved ones. It is much easier for them to understand why you may need to leave early or easier to make a plan together.

Giving your loved ones information about your needs in a particular situation helps them to be more understanding and supportive. There are many ways to help lessen the anxiety you or they feel, including using medications and exercise.

It is recommended to use anxiety calming behaviors regularly to build a practice you can rely on.  Sometimes routines and feeling prepared are some of the simplest ways that can be a huge relief, then be sure to share them, with a friend that you do things with to share the support.Anxiety symptoms may vary from person to person, and there are symptoms that may occur in different situations.

If you have anxiety in your relationship at just the thought of having a conversation with them or your partner's family, avoidance or fear because you don’t know what to say something, can blow up into a major issue, if not honestly discussed you can feel vulnerable.  Work as a team to figure it out, instead of avoiding. Clarity always clears the air and can lessen anxiety when you feel understood and supported.

The symptoms of an anxiety or a panic attacks can occur when you allow your anxiety to fester and not be addressed. It can include symptoms of shaking, sweating, heart palpitations, muscle tension, fear and concern. A panic attack can appear like a medical emergency or totally out of proportion to an observer and to the person having the panic attack, it can feel like they are going to die.  So, if you or your partner have panic attacks, it is a big red sign that internally, you are not handling stress or situations well and then the anxiety is having a chance to build up, instead of learning ways to intervene before they blow up into a panic attack that then you fear they may occur and start a loop of anxiety that is harder to stop.

It is advised to consult with a professional therapist if you're experiencing more than these, like agitation, nightmares or hyperactivity, these can be symptoms of overwhelm, from a deeper unresolved issue of a trauma. These symptoms can be tamed with learn skills to handle the anxiety before they blow up into a panic attack.

 10 keys to helping Relationships with anxiety that is a major factor

  1. Do not try to live your life without a support. Find a good therapist, good friend or work mates or a partner in your life to reassure you and will help calm you, if you are the anxious one. Don’t blame yourself for feeling insecure, truly inner self confidence is something that is built within and it was meant to come from the outside first, by a primary supportive person.  If you didn’t receive it from your family, you may need to find it from a professional until you can build those inner skills.
  1. Make sure you have conversations with your partner that are from your adult self, not your wounded child. Your adult self is more able to be more grounded in facts and less emotional. Being emotional is fine to show your concern or vulnerability to get to the heart of the matter, but if it impedes a problem-solving conversation, if is not helpful. Learn to know the difference with kindness to yourself.
  1. Your partners needs to be informed about what you are experiencing or when your anxiety, is heighten to work out a plan for it.  It is always good to ask your partner if this is a good time to discuss what you are feeling with them, instead of just throwing this at them unless they are willing and able to discuss it with you at that time.  or schedule time with their therapist. If building skills is needed; then learning first yourself and then to practice them together before an event or a non anxiety producing situation as part of a good communication plan that can produce understanding and support.
  1. Have couples therapy sessions as scheduled to work out boundaries and rules that you both agree on and can follow to lower stress about the unknowns. This is important because you cannot do it on your own, you have already proven that. You need help to work together and be honest with yourself about what you need as you face your fears.
  1. It is recommended to see a therapist that you trust, but the therapist is only the coach you are the players on the field, it is your responsibility to make the recommended changes and report back to your therapist what worked or want didn’t work, to make the change to the next play until it works for you. 
  1. You are a team member, treat each other like you want to succeed in your game of life.5.  Find some simple relaxation activities that you can do together, either by playing a game or by taking a walk in the park. You should combine it with something that you like to do together, like watching a movie or enjoying a meal, to create happy secure times, so when the harder situations come you both can work together.
  1. Check out the Vagus Breathing podcast # 45 for a very simple 4 and 8 breathing pattern that can calm immediately that calms the Vagus Nerve.
  1. 6.  Be honest with your partner and tell them what you are feeling. For example, if you are having some doubts about a situation, tell your partner so he or she can give you reassurance or the clarity you need to make a better decision.  This is the # one thing anyone with anxiety is wanting, reassurance and to know it will be ok and a good way to start is with getting clarity about how to resolve the issue or make an agreed upon plan.
  1. 7.  Let your partner know ahead of time, about something that you are planning, pressure or short notice to get ready will add more pressure on them that will increase their short fuse, irritability and anxiety.Let your partner know if you are having some doubts about the plan, before hand, so that they can help you with preparations or what is bugging them, or you about it, so that it can be worked out, so you can let it go to enjoy the occasion.
  1. Do not expect you partner to make you happy or to feel calmer, that is your responsibility, not theirs.
  1. 9. Let your partner know, if there are changes you want to make to the plan that would lower your anxiety.
  1.  Be prepared to make mistakes! It is all about trial and error. You need to acknowledge and accept that some things will not go as planned, be flexible and change your mindset if it is ridged, to look at it like an adventure or a challenge. Not the end of the world if it doesn’t work out perfectly or exactly as planned.

In therapy with couples, Once I hear blaming, resentment and anger, I know this couple has waited too long to get help.

Don’t wait, ask for help, ask for what you need to be happy to create a happy relationship and along the way you will build skills that you can use in other situations to create more happiness around you and your loved ones.

This is by no means a replacement for therapy of any medical attention if you need it.  Always reach out and take care of yourself or if you are feeling like you want to hurt yourself, there is always someone standing by at 1800-273-8255 or call 911. Remember to Share the Love.

Or go to https://esapros.com for an emotional support animal or a Psychiatric Service Dog to go with you everywhere to give you the support you need.

See the videos of the podcasts at AnxietySimplified.net

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