Relationships are an important aspect of everyone’s lives, yet most people forget how these connections affect their physical and mental health. If you recently got into a relationship or have been dating for some time, the following tips can help you keep your mental health in check.
Dating and getting into relationships are undoubtedly wonderful. From meeting strangers and new people from the dating sites, developing exciting romance, and establishing deep connections, there are a lot of feelings involved. Even though everyone expects the best from their relationships, some can go wrong, affecting your self-esteem and mental health in general.
Unfortunately, talking about mental health issues in the current society is overly difficult. Despite the prevalence of mental health conditions, especially anxiety and depression, mental illnesses are still stigmatized. If you feel this way, the following mental health tips can help improve your mental wellbeing when dating.
Manage Your Anxiety
Anxiety is among the common mental health disorders experienced in relationships. While some are anxious because of unknown expectations in the relationship, the other fraction is afraid that their partner will cheat. Regardless of the cause, there is no reason to feel anxious without solid reasons. So instead of panicking, use this opportunity to explore and manage various factors that cause anxiety in your relationship.
For instance, there must be a reason why your partner cheats. Similarly, if you fear loss or that they will leave you for someone else, something must be behind this. Examining these factors that you are afraid of can help you deal with anxiety. Simply put, you cannot address a relationship and mental health issue that you cannot identify. If you don’t know what anxiety is, and by extension, what mental health is, it is important that you visit a psychiatrist with your presenting symptoms.
Maintain Your Identity
As you grow close to your partner, it is normal to feel some parts of your individuality, identity, and independence shift to accommodate your partner and, generally, the relationship. While this is good and shows commitment towards the relationship, it can affect your mental health. You shouldn’t throw away your identity. Changing or losing a sense of self to accommodate your partner isn’t beneficial to either of you.
As you may want this, prioritize your mental health and remember that your partner chose to date you for several reasons beyond your identity. If you suppress some parts of yourself for the relationship to work, you might start feeling less of yourself. Besides, your partner may feel that they have lost the person they initially fell in love with.
Try Being Mindful
Mindful and behavior therapies are common solutions prescribed as mental health first aid options. Mindful exercises generally involve being aware of what’s happening presently without being judgmental. For instance, if you start getting negative thoughts, simply acknowledge them and move on.
Mindful health practices are particularly beneficial for those stuck in a negative spiral of thoughts that affect their mental health. They help such individuals prioritize their daily activities with their partners.
Clearly Express Your Expectations
Mental health issues in a relationship are majorly from within and not from your partner. For instance, if something is fueling any mental health issue in your relationship, say, your partner spends a lot of time on their phone, or you don’t want to visit their relatives during the holiday, bring up the issue in a respective manner.
If even with enough assurance that your partner loves you and the source of mental health issues is from within, it is prudent to loop your partner. Explain what you are dealing with and how you are trying to deal with it. While their assurance may not alleviate your anxiety or any other mental health issue, it may help. Interestingly, opening up can strengthen your bond.
Don’t Act on Your Feelings
It is expected for someone with some mental health issues to act on their emotions, which sometimes leads to disastrous consequences. If you are undergoing an anxious period or a mental health crisis, it is natural to reassure yourself. However, don’t succumb to the impulse of trying to prove something in an unhelpful or harmful way. This is one of the healthy ways to respond to difficult emotions.
You should pay close attention to the differences between impulsive actions and normal behaviors. For instance, while regular texts and keeping a steady conversation might be normal in a relationship, sending several texts asking your partner their whereabouts within a short time is not normal. If you feel such impulses, find ways of distracting yourself, such as taking a walk, jogging, or calling your close friends.
Accept that You Cannot Control Everything
A big part of managing your mental health issues is letting go of what you can’t control, especially your partner’s annoying behaviors. While it may be annoying to spend the weekend afternoons alone as your partner goes watching football with the boys, you shouldn’t let those emotions take over your autonomy.
If you specifically have anxiety issues, you may be tempted to try and control such situations, which is impossible. However, you can communicate how you feel about the situation without necessarily making your partner feel bad.
Talk to a Therapist
Talking to a therapist is probably the best way of clearing up your relationship’s mental health issues. Besides providing insightful mental health awareness, your therapist can help you gain serenity in your mental health and learn how to cope with mental health in your relationship.
A therapist can help you;
- Understand each other’s feelings, needs, and expectations
- Hear out your experiences without being judgmental
- Guide you on how to care for your partner and calm anxiety
Fortunately, therapy shouldn’t be a long-term commitment, as a recent study found that couples can benefit from a single session of therapy.
Relationships are like mirrors that reflect your best and worst. They can either inflame your mental health struggles or soothe them. Even if you feel everything in your relationship is smooth, unexpected mental health issues can deteriorate the health of your relationship. If you struggle with mental health issues, you can try out the tips mentioned above to maintain your relationship. If you have experienced this before, what remedies would you suggest to those going down this road? Let us know in the comments.
The author of this article, Ellen Orton, has been interested in psychological relationships for a long time, often attends seminars and training, and practices the acquired knowledge in classes with problem couples. In her free time, she spends time with her family, enjoys modern painting, photographs of people and nature, and also enjoys making various desserts and pastries. She also writes for some of the best dating sites 2021.