(CLEVELAND CLINIC) – If your summer plans include a walk down the aisle, you may be experiencing some pre-wedding jitters. According to Cleveland Clinic’s Scott Bea, PsyD, pre-wedding anxiety is very common – and most times, it comes from the fear of having all eyes on you.
“One of the biggest phobias in our culture is public speaking phobia – you might have to speak in public – say vows in public – so there’s a lot of worry and tension about performing and having the spotlight on you,” he said.
When anxiety creeps in, Dr. Bea advises brides and grooms to simply allow it to be.
He said when we spend a lot of time trying to control our anxiety, it can be very consuming, and it often doesn’t help the feeling go away.
Dr. Bea suggests not overdoing the mental practicing of potential situations and scenarios ahead of time, as this can produce a lot of worry. Instead, develop a plan that you can reasonably trust and commit to it.
And when the actual wedding day arrives, don’t stress out and expect everything to be perfect, instead, try to roll with the punches.
“Of course, it’s not going to be perfect,” said Dr. Bea. “You won’t be able to absolutely guess at how it’s going to unfold, so you have to be open. Our brains are well-prepared to respond if something doesn’t quite go right. Worrying about having the perfect day is really, really tough, so, try to arrange it as best you can, and then watch how the story unfolds.”
He also recommends having a point-person available to help shoulder the burden on the day of the wedding.
Also, allow for some time to step away and take a break from the festivities for a moment or two to reduce tension before stepping back out into the limelight.
Most importantly, Dr. Bea said newlyweds should take the time to practice mindfulness to fully enjoy the day – because it goes by very fast.
“One of the greatest practices is practicing being right where you’re at,” he said. “If you’re saying your wedding vows, look into your partner’s eyes and really pay attention to them. If you’re interacting with guests, really be a great listener and try to be present as much as you can.”