Anxiety: Is that something that you start to feel when you think about dating and meeting new people?
Does it stop you from putting yourself out there?
Do you find yourself thinking that it is easier to put your attention anywhere and everywhere else because at least then you feel like you are getting some success?
If your answer is yes, let’s look at what anxiety is,
a feeling of worry, nervousness, or unease about something with an uncertain outcome
When you look at the definition, you can see that it is normal to feel nervous when you don’t know how something will turn out, right?
With that in mind would you like a practical way to deal with your anxiety? Are you ready to change your dating experience and approach new people with confidence?
If you answered yes, you are in the right place. Because I’m a Dating and Relationship Coach who has made it my life’s mission to help singles just like you get over that feeling of anxiety. I know that when you do, you will be able to enjoy dating as well as get results.
Why it’s Important to Deal with Your Dating Anxiety
Feeling anxious when you are doing something outside of your comfort zone is normal. Knowing that nerves are normal makes it easier to deal with.
It’s important to deal with your dating anxiety as it is the thing that stops you from making the most of your dating experiences. You HAVE to deal with your anxiety or it will limit you and what is possible for your life. It can stop you from making meaningful connections, finding a partner and enjoying life/romance. When you have a way to deal with your anxiety, you will then be able to be open to what is possible.
12 Practical Exercises to Manage Dating Anxiety
Exercise #1: Self-Reflection and Awareness
Take time to look at what causes your dating anxiety. Understand what triggers your anxiety, what do you fear and where that fear comes from. When you can understand this, it will help you effectively deal with the triggers and the fear. I also want you to be kind and compassionate to yourself, because anxiety is a natural response when stepping outside your comfort zone. Fear and excitement are two sides of the same emotion.
Exercise #2: Deep Breathing
Your body’s response to stress is automatic. Stress makes your heart beat faster and your breathing get faster and even shallow. However, just like your nervous system can change your breathing, your breathing can change your nervous system. In fact, breathing is the easiest way to calm and reduce your anxiety.
When you feel anxious, find a quiet place and take slow, deep breaths. Inhale deeply through your nose, hold for a few seconds, and exhale slowly through your mouth.
Or you can do something that is called balanced breathing. Sit in a comfortable relaxed sitting position, with a straight spine and relaxed shoulders and breath in deeply from your diaphragm. Count in for six breaths and out for six breaths, while you keep your breathing slow and even. Do this for 2-4 minutes, the longer you do the breathing the better you will feel.
When you finish this exercise notice how much calmer you feel. I recommend. that you do this a few times a day for a couple of weeks at the same time of day. You will find that at that set time your body will automatically go into a calm state. The good news is that the mental, emotional and health benefits you’ll receive from practising balanced breathing are scientifically proven to be long-lasting.
Exercise #3: Power Pose
The power pose is something that takes you two minutes and works. It was developed by Amy Cuddy. To do the power pose, you take 2 minutes to stand with your hands-on-hips, feet squared, standing up straight, and shoulders back (you will look like Wonder Woman/Superman). This has been proven to increase your testosterone, reduce your cortisol (stress hormones) and also allow you to take more risks.
Your body language actually affects how you feel and how you are perceived by others. When you are nervous you will often make yourself smaller by looking down and hunching your shoulders so you won’t be noticed. It not only makes you look smaller but also makes you feel less confident. It has the opposite effect of the power pose because people will see you as less confident.
Exercise #4: Positive Visualisation
Visualise yourself having successful conversations. Imagine yourself having interesting conversations, laughing and being relaxed talking to the type of people you would like to. This works because your brain doesn’t know the difference between imagination and reality. This makes visualisation a powerful tool to use to practice without having to be worried about failure. It is something elite athletes use to improve their performance. By imagining yourself having positive outcomes, you’ll create a confident mindset.
Exercise #5: Self-Compassion
Remind yourself that it’s normal to feel anxious. Treat yourself with kindness and understanding. Practice self-compassion by acknowledging your feelings without judging yourself. Remember, everyone experiences nerves before a date or in situations that are outside of their comfort zone.
Exercise #6: Mindful Grounding
Use mindfulness techniques to stay present and grounded. To do this all you need to do is pay attention to your five senses – notice the sounds, sights, smells, and textures around you.
Try this: breathe, feel, hear, touch and see what is going on around you. For example, if you were outside you could breathe in the smell of the flowers, feel the cold air on your face, hear the birds singing, touch the grass and notice the beauty of the trees. As you breathe in say a simple positive affirmation, like “I am safe” as you breathe in and “I am calm” as you breathe out. Do this for a few moments, it will give you a way to move from your anxiety to a place of peace. This a simple yet effective way to get you out of your head and takes your focus from anxious thoughts to the present moment.
Exercise #7: Conversation Preparation
Prepare conversation starters or interesting topics to talk about. Having a mental list of conversation ideas can help you deal with the fear of awkward silence and keep the conversation flowing smoothly. But don’t get caught in the overthinking trap. It is more important to be yourself and talk about what you enjoy.
Exercise #8: Listening
Put your attention on really listening to the other person, it is called active listening. Instead of putting your focus on yourself, put your focus on the other person. I guarantee they are probably feeling as nervous as you are. Make it a habit to listen twice as much as you talk.
Pay attention to what they are saying, make/keep eye contact and genuinely interested in them. Active listening helps redirect your focus from your anxiety to the present moment and the person you’re talking to.
Exercise #9: Mindful Approach to Dating Apps
When you go onto a dating app, use it mindfully. Set yourself boundaries, limit screen time, and approach it as a tool for connection rather than a source of stress. Remember, it’s a way to explore potential matches, and not every chat has to lead to a lifelong commitment.
Exercise #10: Progressive Exposure
Gradually expose yourself to social situations and dates. Start with low-pressure situations, like making conversations with people you meet during your day, going to a meetup group with people you don’t know, and going on casual meetups with friends or group outings. It allows you to become comfortable talking to people you don’t know and see that terrible things don’t happen when you do. As you become more comfortable, challenge yourself with more situations and even one-on-one dates. This progressive exposure helps build your confidence and resilience.
Exercise #11: Positive Self-Talk and Affirmations
What you say to yourself will affect how you feel. Take the time to notice what you are saying to yourself in your head. Instead of telling yourself that you are useless or no one will want to talk to you, be kind and positive to yourself.
If you focus on what makes you feel nervous it will only feel more nervous. STOP IT! Stop those thoughts and stop saying them to yourself. Part of your anxiety comes from the pressure that you’re giving yourself, as well as the fear of rejection. Imagine you are going to meet a friend who you wouldn’t worry about what they will think of you and how they will judge you. It takes the pressure off you.
Remind yourself of your worth, your unique qualities and the value you bring to conversations and potential connections. Embrace a growth mindset and believe in your ability to navigate the dating world with confidence.
Exercise #12: Seek Support and Guidance for Anxiety
You don’t have to do it alone. Get help from friends, a therapist, or a dating coach. Discussing your anxieties and getting guidance can give you valuable insights, encouragement, and practical strategies to navigate the dating scene.
These Exercises Work to Deal with Anxiety!
You might be thinking, “Will these exercises make a difference?”
Yes! If you use them. These exercises have worked for so many people to help them deal with their anxiety and nerves. With practice and patience, you can gradually build confidence and overcome the anxiety that may stop you from getting the success you deserve.
Finally on Anxiety
I encourage you to start using these practical exercises. Take the time to notice the positive effect they can have on your confidence and experiences. Remember, feeling anxious is natural, but it doesn’t define you or your potential for success.
As you use these practical tools and believe in yourself, you will see your nerves transform into exciting opportunities for connection.
You might also want to read 8 Ways to Deal with Dating Frustration for more proven practical exercises.
If you have any questions or would like further help, please feel free to reach out. You can even book a free call to help you on the spot.
Wishing you fun and fulfilling dating experiences!
Debbie, Dating & Relationship Coach