Anxiety is like a magnet;
it looks for people and situations displaying a similar resonance.
When she first came to see me, anxiety was something Iris (name changed) did not think she had even though her hands shook as she spoke about her husband’s anxiety.
Asked what might be triggering her husband’s anxiety, Iris then said that he usually became anxious when he did not know what to do. Can you relate?
But as soon as she mentioned it, Iris told me that she was fed up with her husband’s perceived inability to get a solid grip over his life.
Clasping her hands tightly together, the young woman then reaffirmed that he was the reason she was coming to see me; she did not know what to do anymore about his anxiety.
What about your anxiety?
Iris looked at me, feeling shocked. She vehemently shook her head and said, “No! It’s not about me! It’s about him!”
I asked the young woman what she did when she believed her husband was having anxiety. Iris answered, “I sit with him and hold his hand. I ask him to look at me and I tell him he can do it … until he does.”
This method worked sporadically because Iris usually ended up storming out of the room when she believed her husband failed to get out of his own head and get on with it (whatever “it” is).
Can you imagine what it feels like to feel anxious?
Still in denial about her own anxiety, Iris still asked me to ‘fix’ her husband.
Smiling, I retorted that I coach the person in front of me.
I asked her,
What is it that makes you anxious in your relationship with your spouse?
Iris’ face fell like a ton of bricks. She talked about the many difficulties in her marriage. For example, the young woman mentioned how she did everything for him and how she was becoming increasingly resentful because of it. Feeling exhausted, she believed her husband was not pulling his fair share in their marriage.
Through talking more with her, I managed to help Iris realize that she needed to focus on her own well-being and address her own level of anxiety.
What would your life be like if you stopped feeling anxious all the time?
Iris took a big breath and exclaimed, laughing, “O my God, my life would be AMAZING! I would not be so tired anymore! I would have a lot of time to look after me!”
That day, Iris went home with homework to do. Every time she caught herself becoming anxious, she was to stop and ask herself, “What do I need right now?” and take immediate action towards fulfilling her need.
Let me ask you…
How do we deal with anxiety in a relationship?
For starters we focus on:
acknowledging our needs. ‘What do I need right now?’
taking action based on what we need. ‘What can I do right now to fulfill my need?’
remaining focused on our well-being. ‘How can I keep giving myself what I need right now?’
And here are more tips to help you deal with anxiety in relationships:
Notice where your mind wanders. What makes you anxious? Is it a specific person, a behaviour, a thing, a situation? The clearer you become about what it is exactly that makes you anxious, the more you are facing your anxiety by breaking it down into manageable pieces.
Pick up only one anxiety piece at a time. Once you have chosen to address a specific component of what it is that is making you anxious, ask yourself, “What can I do right now about what is making me anxious?’
Have an accountability system/person in place. Though many of us say we ‘know’ to focus on our well-being, however, what we believe and what we do do not always match. This is why having a system/person in place to hold us accountable is crucial to our well-being.
Now imagine somebody has just read these tips…
What do you believe will be their greatest challenge?
Before she came to see me, Iris was determined to ‘fix’ her husband, not yet realizing that she was the one who needed to be held accountable for her own anxiety. Through working with me, the young woman made her well-being a priority in her life.
My name is Anne Beaulieu and I am an Emotional Intelligence Coach who assists her clients in focusing on their well-being so their anxiety becomes a thing of the past. Connect with me at https://walkinginside.com/contact-us/
Your Emotional Intelligence Coach,
P.S. Another great resource to check out is https://fullmontyleadership.com