5 Dating Tips To Ease Your Anxiety

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Our relationship expert, Dr Pam Spurr (on Twitter and Instagram @drpamspurr) gives us her first five tips to help us feel less nervous when jumping back into dating.

A few years ago I came across a study that showed that people with higher levels of anxiety had a less likely chance of meeting someone and getting into a relationship. It doesn’t take a psychologist to realise that if you’re feeling anxious, it’ll show when you meet someone. They in turn may not give you more chances to get more confident and have the real you shine through.

Anxiety is even more of a problem now with people struggling with the lockdowns. Here are my first five tips to help you decrease your anxiety and increase your dating success:

Take Control

If you’re struggling with anxiety, it really becomes the case that it’s controlling you rather than you controlling it. Keep a diary for at least a few days – or even better for a week – of your anxious thoughts, feelings, and behaviours. 

At the end of the week take time to look through it, examine it and familiarise yourself with "the enemy" - your anxiety. Make a note of when your anxiety peaks and what sets it off, etc.

Understand The ‘Enemy’ 

Having familiarised yourself with the pattern of your anxiety over that week, think about what you've learnt. Maybe you’ve identified that particular people or situations set off your anxiety. Then, once anxious, you respond in ‘negative’ ways. If so, take some time and think through why you give these situations or people this power over your feelings, leaving you anxious. 

Set a Goa

Start with one goal with whatever makes you anxious. Maybe you need to practice asserting yourself with certain people. Or you might need to look at your reactions to people and set a goal about staying calm in response to certain things. 

For instance, your first goal might be to plan what you need to say to a certain person who makes you anxious. And to practice what you plan to say. Practising gives you confidence to set your boundaries.  

Don’t Keep Anxiety Secret 

It’s really important not to hide anxious feelings from family and friends because you feel embarrassed. They are not going to judge you! Opening up and talking about the anxiety you experience can help defuse some of it. I always say that “secrets make you sicker” – and that includes keeping a secret about things like anxiety.

Get Physical Exercise

Exercise can really help burn any excess, anxious energy. You don’t have to go out for a 10 km jog! A brisk walk or dancing around your sitting room to your playlist will do.

Exercise boosts those feel-good endorphins - and they help you relax. 

Five more key anxiety-fighting tips coming up next week. In the meantime, good luck with these tips and happy dating, Pam x

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