For some people the butterflies of a new relationship are the most amazing moments to remember. For others it can feel like a nightmare, a breeding ground for all kinds of issues that only surface in the light of an anxiety relationship. If you’re one of these people, there is a way to live with and counter your anxious attachment style. Follow these 5 simple tips to get your life back whilst enjoying being in a relationship.
1. Distract yourself by keeping busy
The worst thing I remember when suffering really badly was sitting alone, letting my thoughts get the better of me. They would get darker and harder to fight until it ended in a full blown panic attach. As I managed to come to terms with my problems, I learnt that being busy was one of the best remedies. As in most relationships, the early days are all about them. Your friends go to the side lines as you’re loving every second of the time you spend together with Mr or Miss Perfect. Time apart is the perfect chance for you to get back in touch with your friends and family and spend some special time with them. Make plans to go for dinner, maybe have a sleep over like you did when you were teenagers. There are also loads of volunteering opportunities if you’re someone who likes to give back to the community or you could even make a start on that book that you’ve had for ages or binge Netflix if you never get a chance to sit and chill.
2. Exercise and eat healthily to make you feel happier
Yes, I know I sound like every annoyingly healthy person ever and you are probably sick and tired of hearing this advice because it’s everywhere but it’s true. By exercising, you are releasing hormones called endorphins, the happy hormone. This will help put your mind in a positive place. If you’re not a gym person, then find a club or a class that you really enjoy. Or, find a court buddy where you can go play tennis or squash. This might even be a new found passion and it will focus your mind on other things rather than worrying about what they’re up to. Adding some fruit and veg to your plate or snack time throughout the day will make you will feel more positive as well. I’m not a nutritionist so I don’t want to advise here, however there are so many tips online and your doctor should be able to point you in the right direction as well.
3. Meditate to become aware of yourself
OK, this is not me getting all religious on you I promise but my next tip is meditation. Most people who have never tried it think that it’s not for them but give it a chance before you block it out! Meditation is all about becoming aware of yourself. When I started, I realised that before I even left for work in the morning, I had already worked myself up into a panicky mess. By meditating for 10 minutes a day, I became so much more aware of my thoughts and feelings and so I could counter those negative thoughts a lot easier. I downloaded a free app called Headspace on my phone and did the first 10 days which were free. After that, I signed up to a monthly subscription but you can just go over the free 10 sessions if you don’t want to commit financially. Alternatively, once you know the basics, you could do it on your own.
4. Speak to a professional
This was one of the most beneficial things I did to aid my recovery – seeing a therapist. I’m not great at speaking face to face however the NHS does a fantastic service in the form of an online chat. I didn’t think it would work but I could cry with no one else looking and when my throat seized up, I could still type and talk through the issues. Do not let all the stereotypes of seeing a therapist get you down or make you think you’re crazy. By going and getting help with someone who’s qualified, you are acknowledging the fact that there is an issue and you’re wanting to confront it. It means you know you don’t have to live like this and you want to take steps to be happy. I have also seen therapists face to face and whilst it was uncomfortable at times, it felt like there was someone I could speak to who was totally impartial, excellent for people who like one on one but find it hard to talk to those closest to them.
5. Don’t forget to be yourself and do the things you love
Before this person came into your life, there were things that you loved to do, ways of spending your day that made you happy – go do those things! It might ignite a passion you have which you had forgotten all about and if it does, your mind will be too preoccupied with what you’re doing to go to dark places. I love to play video games and read so I focused on these things. As time went on, I found new interests and my mind stopped focusing on the ‘what if’s’ of my relationship. I realised I had stopped laughing on a regular basis because I was too preoccupied with my anxieties. By focusing on what I wanted to do, I found I was able to be happier and laugh a lot more! Make sure you never lose focus of what you want and who you are. It will make you happier in the long run and you’ll see a bigger picture outside of your relationship!
If you have an anxious attachment style or you’re with someone who does, it can be a tough ride. Whichever position you’re in however, there are ways to deal with it and prevent an anxiety relationship. I wish you the best of luck on your journey to being in a happy, adventure filled relationship!