First, I am curious about that intention setting. And a reminder, intentions serve as compass points, guiding us toward the life we want to lead. If you need to revisit your intention, take a pause, and see where you are at with your intention.
Second, I wanted to talk a bit about an attachment style. There is a whole theory in regard to attachment and the attachment we form with other people in our lives, especially long term. Yes, a child’s attachment to a caregiver is especially important and as we become adults, relationships as adults will also give our body and minds information in forming attachment with others. There is loads of information out there in regards to attachments styles.
Now, I would like to specifically talk about anxious attachment which is a style of attachment in relationships exemplified by a strong desire for closeness and fear of abandonment or rejection. Individuals with anxious attachment tend to worry about their partner's availability and responsiveness and often seek reassurance and validation to ease their anxiety. They may also be hyper-aware of potential threats to the relationship and may engage in behaviors such as a need to always be close or constantly checking in with their partner.
There is a book I particularly like, “Attached” by Dr. Amir Levine and Rachel S.F. Heller, M.A. They talk about activating strategies, which is once a person is activated, “they are often consumed with thoughts that have a single purpose: to reestablish closeness with their partner” (“Attached”, Levine and Heller, 2010, pg.81). For example, you texted the other person and they don’t get back to you, and you wait, and they still haven’t gotten back to you, and you wait, and text again, and now you are activated, and then text again, leave a voice message, and text again and again. Then, FINALLY, your partner texts you back saying they were in a meeting with their boss. And then you feel so… relieved and so much better now that reconnection has occurred- phew. Hmmmm, could that be a little bit of jumping to conclusions? Your nervous system is giving you signals that are “activating” and then you are making a judgement without all of the information. It is that sensitive attachment and nervous system that many of us with that anxiety experiences. We can also become activated from other relationships too, so we don’t only become activated in romantic partner relationships. And for all my single people, watch out for those avoidant attachment styles, they only play into your anxious attachment. Being with someone who has secure attachment is what you want to find.
Transforming your anxious attachment involves a combination of self-awareness, self-care, and learning new relationship skills. Here are some strategies that may help:
Self-awareness: Recognize and acknowledge your anxious attachment style. Understand how it manifests in your thoughts, feelings, and behaviors in relationships.
Mindfulness: Practice mindfulness techniques to become more aware of your emotions and reactions in the moment. Mindfulness can help you observe your anxious thoughts without getting overwhelmed by them.
Challenge negative beliefs: Work on challenging and reframing negative beliefs about yourself, relationships, and abandonment. Replace them with more realistic and positive beliefs.
Build self-esteem: Focus on building your self-esteem and self-worth independent of your relationships. Engage in activities and hobbies that make you feel good about yourself.
Communication skills: Improve your communication skills, including expressing your needs, setting boundaries, and advocating for yourself in relationships.
Develop self-soothing techniques: Learn and practice self-soothing techniques such as deep breathing, progressive muscle relaxation, or visualization to manage anxiety when it arises.
Work on trust: Build trust in yourself and your ability to handle difficult emotions and situations. Trust that you can cope with uncertainty and setbacks.
Take it slow: Pace yourself in relationships and avoid rushing into intense emotional or physical intimacy. Take the time to get to know your partner and build trust gradually.
Seek secure relationships: Surround yourself with supportive and secure individuals who can provide a sense of stability and safety in your life.
Your number one way to be in the moment is to- STOP, Feel your feet on the ground, and take a Purposeful Breath. Remember that overcoming anxious attachment takes time and effort, but with persistence and support, it is possible to develop more secure and fulfilling relationships. You deserve it!
You are loved,