Updated: Mar 11
Written by: Aubriana Muna
If you’re anything like me during bouts of anxiety, you can be hot-tempered and quick at the tongue from time-to-time. Add a relationship into the mix and Houston, we have a problem.
After a couple years of counseling and many “om’s” later, I’ve learned a few tips that have made communicating through anxiety with my significant other a lot easier, and most importantly -- more effective.
You’ve heard it before: breathe. Often forgotten in the heat of the moment, deep breaths are a quick way to hit the “refresh” button on your mindset and can be practiced alone, or with your partner.
Once you’ve calmly asked your partner to join you or give you some space, sit at the edge of a chair or bed. Straighten your posture, close your eyes and slowly inhale as much air as you can comfortably. As you begin to slowly exhale, focus on releasing tension from the back of your neck and shoulders. Repeat two-to-four more times.
After three+ deep breaths, you should begin to feel a sense of calmness. This reflective state of mind will be helpful the next time you approach the conversation.
Keep it Clean
Simply put, keep it clean. Anxiety may have you feeling agitated and unlike yourself, but it’s important to remember to always treat your partner with respect. As a communications professional, I know the power that words carry and the damage they can cause may be irreversible.
Remember to breathe or take time apart if you feel like you need to cool down. In the grand scheme of things, remember what’s important: L-O-V-E.
Be honest with yourself and your partner. Truly give yourself time to reflect on how you are feeling and where it stems from.
For me, it helps to sift through my thoughts out loud. Naturally when I began dating someone, talking out loud grew into an open conversation. My boyfriend became a sounding board for me and we grew closer because he was beginning to understand me at a depth no one cared to before. These are the moments that stick with me the most. Not because it began as a disagreement, but because it developed into a breakthrough and has benefitted us ever since.
Aubriana Muna is a communications professional located in the Bay Area with an affinity for self-care (coffee + makeup). Say “Hi” to her on Twitter and Instagram at @aubriana_muna.