Ryan Rivera has written extensively on the topic of anxiety, and shares some of his wisdom in this guest post. If anxiety affects your life, check out his website at www.calmclinic.com for more articles, advice, and resources.
We’ve all been there—you’ve just had a fight with your significant other. Maybe it ended in tears and frustration, or maybe it ended relatively well. Either way, you still care about the person and you’re worried about whether or how this argument will affect your relationship. If you’ve ever felt this type of anxiety, or are suffering from it currently, the following tips may help you to get past the situation with a minimum of stress.
- Step Back – This is an important first step in any post-argument situation. Trying to force a resolution to relieve your anxiety only puts more strain on an already tense situation. The key here is stepping back as neutrally as possible, and giving each other time to think the situation over. Ignore the urge to “make things right” as soon as possible, and respect one another’s need to process the event. This may cause you anxiety initially, but should reduce it significantly in the long run.
- Occupy Your Body – When anxiety and tension build up in the body due to fighting and fallout, the best thing to do to decrease the mental tension that accompanies it is to occupy your body with a physically demanding activity such as running, biking or hiking. Forcing your body to relax after straining itself can have the effect of forcing your mind to relax by extension, and allowing you to think more clearly.
- Stop and Reflect – Once you have dispelled the mental tension that accompanies bodily tension, it is a good idea to settle yourself and reflect from a more neutral viewpoint on the argument and on your personal values. Useful and relaxing ways of doing this include meditation, making a soothing cup of (preferably non-caffeinated) tea, or listening to music or sounds that tend to make you feel calm.
- Talk to Yourself – Talking to yourself may sound like a “crazy” thing to do. Fortunately, you don’t have to do it aloud. Try writing down your thoughts and concerns on paper, or a word document. Seeing your own mental processes written out can help you to figure out what’s really important to you. It may also help you gain some perspective on aspects of the argument that may have gotten blown out of proportion, or been based on simple misunderstandings of one another.
- Talk to Your S.O. – Actually talking to the other person again should be the final step towards relieving this type of anxiety. An honest and patient discussion, even about something as unpleasantly stressful as an argument, will ultimately lead you to a better understanding of each other and greatly decrease the amount of misunderstandings, unnecessary arguments and anxiety you would otherwise experience.
While relationship arguments can cause a lot of anxiety, it is important to remember that arguments are also opportunities for you to strengthen your relationship with your significant other. The more you know about them, and the more they know about you, the fewer unknown factors there will be between you that can put your relationship at risk.
About the Author: Ryan Rivera knows how much relationship anxiety can be stressful. As someone that already suffered from anxiety, he’s intimately familiar with how strenuous it can be to live with anxiety and be in a struggling relationship. He writes about overcoming that anxiety at www.calmclinic.com.