Yorkshire Rose Brides editor Louise Lavigueur opens up about her own wedding anxiety and offers tips and advice to brides planning their own big day.
Everyone knows planning a wedding can be stressful. But after all the build up there’s also the expectation that you’re comfortable being in the spotlight!
Yes, it’s your one day to feel and look amazing but standing up in a room filled with your closest family and friends can be overwhelming.
That’s exactly how I felt, and three years on, I feel I let my anxiety overshadowed my enjoyment of our special day.
I’ve always struggled with public speaking and vividly remember standing up at primary school and being unable to stop my hands shaking.
And as I’ve got older this hasn’t changed. Put me in the spotlight and I’m like a rabbit in the headlights.
But after seven months wedding planning when I admit, I did go a little bit bridezilla, our wedding day was finally here.
I arrived in the hotel and took my dad’s arm. I saw my handsome partner all ‘suited and booted’ at the end of the aisle. But I couldn’t stop shaking and gripped hold of my dad as I walked down the aisle. I was so overwhelmed I couldn’t even cry!
The registrars started welcoming us and just before the reading, I turned to my dad and said, ‘I need to sit down’.
I sat down, and all I could see was black.
Fortunately the registrars were brilliant, as were my family and a glass of water appeared from no-where. After a minute I came round and a few more and I was able to continue.
The rest of our day passed smoothly but I couldn’t get over my unfortunate halt to proceedings.
It wasn’t until after several slow dances with my new husband, when I put my head on his shoulder and knew that I was exactly where I needed to be. I could relax and simply ‘be married’.
If you’re concerned about any aspect of your wedding planning, there’s steps you can take.
Quick Methods of Fighting Anxiety
Remember, very few people can cure anxiety in a day. Curing anxiety is a process, and one that you shouldn’t expect to reach for a long time, even with the best anxiety treatment. But there are strategies you can try that may speed up the process or reduce your anxiety considerably. They include:
1. Start Running
Priority number one is that you start running or jogging regularly. As long as you’re healthy enough for physical activity, regular, daily jogging should be your number one treatment choice.
It may sound silly, but the reality is that your physical energy contributes to anxiety in a host of ways:
- Unused energy can become anxiety and actually create anxious thoughts.
- Unused muscles may become tense and cause more anxiety symptoms.
- Those that don’t exercise are more prone to hormonal fluctuations and poor nutrition.
There is a high correlation between those that don’t exercise and those that experience anxiety. In addition, beyond the health components of jogging and exercise, there are additional benefits as well.
2. Retrain Breathing
Another issue that often contributes to both anxiety and panic attacks is poor breathing. Many people with anxiety suffer from hyperventilation problems. Anxiety and stress cause the body to breathe a little bit faster. They also cause you to focus too much on your breathing, and try to bring it more air than you need.
- Breathe in through your nose for 5 seconds.
- Hold for 2 seconds.
- Breathe out through your mouth for 7 seconds.
There are other types of breathing exercises you can try as well if you’d prefer something more interesting. Performing these exercises for 15 to 30 minutes every day can re-train your body to breathe in a way that prevents hyperventilation, and thus reduces some of the symptoms of anxiety.
3. Check Your Diet
Diet can affect your anxiety levels, although not as much as many people believe. Cutting out oils, trans fats, alcohol and heavy amounts of caffeine are all important. All of these make anxiety symptoms much worse, and the healthier you eat the more likely you’ll experience fewer anxiety symptoms. The healthier you are, the better for all of your mental health needs.
You should also make sure that you’re drinking enough water. Dehydration can cause significant anxiety and lead to worse anxiety symptoms.
While most people’s diets don’t cause anxiety, they can easily contribute to it. Make sure that you’re eating foods that are rich in the vitamins and minerals you need, and your anxiety may become far more manageable.