By Simon Dubois DipCouns, Grad Dip Psychology
DON'T LET ANXIETY RUIN YOUR RELATIONSHIP...
Here are 5 self-empowering tools that can make an impact on your relationship
–-->>FOR THE POSITIVE
1. TAKE RESPONSIBILITY FOR YOUR STUFF
First and foremost work out what's your responsibility to sort out, that will improve the way you participate in relationship. Identifying your own faults and working on them is a much better starting point then pointing out your partners.
For example, John has a habit of getting cranky when his partner gets home late from work. His mind can start running with insecure ideas that she doesn’t like him and might be meeting up with someone else. When she walks through the door he gives her a mini lecture on time keeping and respect in a curt tone. OK, so his partner is a bit late and not given him the heads up, but feeling insecure is John's stuff. If he wants to get anywhere in the relationship (and perhaps encourage his partner to keep him in the loop with where she is), he needs to own his stuff and take responsibility for it.
2. LET GO OF CONTROL BUT BE GOOD AT COMMUNICATING REASONABLE EXPECTATIONS
Knowing where your partner is and what they're doing all the time is NOT a good way to manage anxiety. Letting go of control and certainty is the only way the relationship will flourish. Never the less, being able to communicate the reasonable issues you have is important. It's ok to request a courtesy call if your partners going to be home late, especially if you’re a bit vulnerable to insecurity. Learn how to make these requests in a way where they are most likely to be heard and respected.
3. KEEP CALM WHEN YOU HAVE AN ISSUE TO RAISE
Often, aggressive communication is fuelled by anxious worries. Unfortunately, if we communicate aggressively our important issue or concern is lost in our poor delivery of the information. If we're upset because our partner has arrived home late without letting us know, make sure you have calmed down first and you're clear how you'll communicate your issue respectfully.
4. KNOW WHAT YOUR TRIGGERS ARE AND PREPARE FOR THEM
Identify clearly the sorts of things that bring up your anxieties. Make a list of them. Then have a clear plan in place for calming yourself down when these triggers have been activated.
This skill is called self-soothing. If your partner is going away with her girlfriends for the weekend and you know you'll experience some insecurity, get your plan ready!! This may include phoning a friend or keeping yourself busy with some jobs around the house, or activities with friends.
5. BECOME AN EXPERT AT NOTICING YOUR ANXIETY MONSTER AND KEEP IT IN CHECK
Mindfulness is a psychological technique that helps you to notice the anxiety monster. It’s a simple process that can be taught in just a few counselling sessions and with practice you'll get on top of the sorts of anxieties that can turn to anger. Anger is the most destructive force in a relationship. Your anxieties deserve care and consideration rather than being ignored because anger has got in the way.