Weddings are stressful. Even if you've had the event mentally planned for years, chances are things won't go exactly as you hoped. Between managing your in-laws, organizing the catering and making sure your future hubby knows what to do, those pre-wedding butterflies can easily turn into stress-induced hives.
Luckily, you're not going to have to say "I do" in a medicated haze just to get through the day -- or the weeks leading up to it. We'll show you how spending a few moments in silence can release the tension of your wedding woes and why seeking help from (gasp) your betrothed could reduce your anxiety level while simultaneously strengthening your relationship.
Treat Your Body Right
You might think it's impossible to get eight hours of sleep every night or to eat three squares a day, but neglecting your basic needs is only going to make your wedding stress worse. Lack of food and sleep tend to increase feelings of anxiety, and when you're tired or hungry, you're more prone to making bad judgments.
It's important to be rested for your big day and to eat healthfully in the hours leading up to the actual wedding, but you need to start a sleeping schedule and meal plan months before the wedding to really reap the positive effects. Go to bed and wake up at consistent times, and make sure you're eating protein, whole grains and fresh veggies or fruit at every meal. Set the good habits in motion now, and we'll give you our blessing to be a little naughty on your honeymoon! What? We're talking about staying up late and indulging in a few margaritas…
Sit in Silence
Your wedding is going to be a beautiful, wonderful experience, but all the stress that comes between saying "yes" and "I do" is almost enough to cause a girl to swear off fondant, flowers and family forever! Before you elope in what you'd forever be forced to think of as your "wedding jeans," try sitting alone for a few minutes and meditating.
While meditating, you can delve into what it is that's bothering you, or you may choose to visualize a nice, stress-free ceremony. You don't have to focus on any one thing (or anything at all, actually), but just sitting by yourself, with yourself, for a few minutes in silence each day can have a profoundly positive effect on your mood and overall outlook.
If the thought of meditating intimidates you, don't worry. You don't need to spend years fine-tuning your technique to reduce stress. A study found that newly practicing meditators' brain waves moved from the anxiety-riddled right-frontal cortex to the more relaxed left-frontal cortex, making the group generally happier and more relaxed than before they began engaging in the ancient practice.
If the stress of organizing and planning your wedding is making you see red, you might want to consider trying to burn off some energy -- and anger -- the old-fashioned way, through exercise.
Exercise relieves stress, and you don't have to be an athlete to walk or even run around the block. Engaging in moderate exercise for as few as 30 minutes a day can improve your mood, so try to carve out some time to power-walk around the corner or pound the pavement over to your favorite café. As an added bonus, you'll tone up and maybe even lose a few inches before the big day.
Get Him Involved
Some overzealous brides insist on planning their entire weddings. But then they feel jilted when they catch their beaus slaying aliens over Xbox Live when they're revising the seating chart again.
If this sounds like you, we're here to tell you that you can't have it both ways! Before you toss out his video games with that tacky old beer stein, talk to him about what you need and expect from him. Jot down a list of things you'd like him to help with, and keep him posted on deadlines and vendor meeting dates. Chances are he'll be glad to assist if you let him -- you just need to give him something to do.
Focus On What's Important
Every wedding is made up of a million stress-inducing little details, and through all the forgetful florists and cantankerous caterers, it's easy to lose sight of what's important: the love shared between you and your fiancé.
This day you're planning -- the whole event -- is about the two of you celebrating the love you share and the binding vow you're about to make to each other. So, the next time you're up to your eyeliner in anxiety, or your future mother-in-law insists on giving you a few more "suggestions," remember that the guest list, food, music, location and everything else are just temporary. Your love is what's going to last forever.
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- Allen, Colin. "The Benefits of Meditation." Psychology Today. Apr. 01, 2003. (Aug. 25, 2010).http://www.psychologytoday.com/articles/200304/the-benefits-meditation
- Breus, Michael J. PhD, MD. "Sleep Habits: More Important Than You Think: Chronic Sleep Deprivation May Harm Health." WebMD. 2010. (Aug. 25, 2010).http://www.webmd.com/sleep-disorders/guide/important-sleep-habits