Dealing with Mother-in-law Anxiety
Your mother-in-law’s in town! However, instead of being all excited about it, you freeze and go on a panic mode. What is happening? Well, you are showing the signs of in-law anxiety.
You do not want your anxiety attacks to lead to family issues and friction later. You have to deal with it the soonest time possible.
Know the reason for the anxiety.
There are a lot of reasons for in-law anxiety, and interestingly they do not have to be real. You may be influenced by the way society sees her: a family monster, someone whose purpose is to shred you to pieces and destroy your life. It is also possible your siblings have told you about their own in-law problems, and you are scared you will experience them too.
Discuss your feeling with your partner.
Your partner can be such a huge help in curbing your anxiety panic. For one, he is the best person to talk to about his mom. He knows her too well, what makes her happy and angry. Second, he may decide it upon himself to be around you all the time, so you really do not feel so alone and sad. He may even tell you some techniques on how to deal with family-related stress.
Talk with your in-law.
Strike a conversation with your mom-in-law whenever you can. It does not have to be a very long chat. Doing this will surely make you feel comfortable around her, and when you have greatly reduced your anxiety, consider setting up a date, which will bring you much closer together.
Watch out for the symptoms of anxiety.
The last thing you want to happen is to experience difficulty in breathing, profuse sweating, or sudden crying in the presence of your in-law. Be alert of the common anxiety symptoms.
If you feel they are kicking in, try to step outside and take slow deep breaths. That will calm you. You can also perform short visualization exercises with subliminal messages.
You can imagine standing in the middle of a large grassy field while reciting the following:
I can feel a lot of love from my family.
I have nothing to fear about my mother-in-law.
I am much stronger than this fear.
Have a heart-to-heart talk with your mother-in-law.
At some point, you need to face the real reason of your fear: your mother-in-law. Tell her all about your feelings, but better make sure you do so in a way it does not completely hurt her. Inform her you are trying your best to get it out of your system, but she may also be able to help you out by showing you more love and care.
Change your mind-set.
Keep in mind that your mother-in-law will not be around for a long time. At the most, she will stay for a week or two with you. Surely you can deal with her at such a short period.
Look for support groups.
You may find plenty of support groups both offline and online that cater to people suffering from generalized anxiety. They can offer you a lot of tips.