Anxiety can be very intrusive. It can impact so many facets of your life and sometimes without you even realizing it. It can hold you back at work from seeking the next promotion, it can prevent you from getting out and trying new things with friends, and it can even hijack and potentially even disrupt your personal relationships.
Anxiety can cause you to feel overwhelmed, panicked, or just uneasy and this can in turn affect the relationships with those closest to you. Have you noticed a strain on your relationships but been unable to realize why? Have you ever considered that it could be the effects of your anxiety that are impacting your relationships? If you are beginning to wonder whether your anxiety could be impacting your relationships, here are some ways in which anxiety could be taking over your relationships and what you can do to stop it.
Anxiety can affect trust
The importance of trust in a relationship is well known. You most likely agree that you cannot have a relationship if you do not have the fundamentals of trust between you. It may be that your anxieties are leading you to question the trust you have in your partner, which in turn will affect your relationship and your connection. If you notice that your anxieties or fears are starting to impact your relationship the first thing you need to do is recognize the fact. Know the signs of your anxiety. Appreciate that it is your fears or concerns that are causing your thoughts to stray and question matters. Differentiate between straying into thoughts as opposed to facts. Take a step back to address what you know, not what you are anxious or worried about, and don’t take any action until you have had a chance to step back, calm down and bring yourself back into the present moment. If you find your anxieties are affecting your levels of trust then seek to take steps with your partner to build trust between you and communicate openly and honestly with them about your concerns.
Anxiety can put pressure on relationships and cause resentment
Your anxieties, fears, and worries may be putting unnecessary pressure on your relationship. It could prevent you from displaying affection, opening up, or trusting your partner. This may be a form of self-preservation but it could result in you being closed off to your partner and making it harder to form a deeper trusting connection. Alternatively, a partner of someone suffering from anxiety may experience feelings of resentment toward their partner as the anxiety takes over.
When you feel your relationship is becoming strained as a result of the pressure of the anxiety experienced, try to take stock of what you need, not what is making you anxious. Explain to your partner that your feelings of anxiety are starting to take over and that you believe this is putting pressure on your relationship. Take the opportunity to ask for help and support you need to address the anxieties as opposed to bottle them up and carry on as though everything is fine. This will only lead to further resentment and greater pressure in the long run.
If you are struggling to ask for help or to navigate your anxieties with the help and support of your partner then consider asking for professional help. This could be alone, with your partner, or a combination of the two. Consider talk therapy, couples therapy, or individual psychotherapy to help you gain clarity on your needs, thoughts, and feelings and how best to manage them.
Anxiety takes away the fun in your relationship
Given that anxiety can make you fearful, tense and uneasy it stands to reason that it can rob you of experiencing the joyful situations that are part and parcel of a relationship. Anxiety might limit your freedom to experience new things, open up to a new person, be present in a relationship, or to just have fun for fear of the consequences. These negative thoughts and feelings can be debilitating when trying to keep the fun alive in a relationship. Remember, laughter is the ultimate in feel-good effects, joy, and fun are wonderful ways to bring comfort to your brain and help to stave off your anxieties. Try not to take yourself too seriously, try to relax in a situation and enjoy it. Allow yourself the pleasure of having fun at that moment and the consequences will take care of themselves.