Attachment styles in adult relationships

Attachment styles in adult relationships

Attachment theory is a model that attempts to describe the dynamics of interpersonal relationships between individuals. It is based on the interaction between a parent and a child and how it influences and shapes the child’s development. Attachment theory is focused on the bond formed between young babies and their mothers or caregiver. It also aims to understand the connection between adults.

Humans came into the world to bond with other beings. It is part of our genetic makeup to connect with individuals from the same species. Despite the fact that it brings pleasure and is beneficial to one’s mental health, those relationships ensure the survival of the offspring. Since the baby is unable to take care of themselves, they are dependent on their parents to get their needs met, as well to learn about the world and become stable and healthy adults.

When an individual becomes an adult, their romantic relationships resemble the one they had with their main caregiver. It was identified that there are patterns of connection that adults develop with other adults. There are four types of attachment styles identified, based on the early relationship the person had with their parents. Read below the description

Secure attachment: It is the ideal attachment style to be able to enjoy healthy relationships with others, with boundaries and intimacy. Individuals with a secure attachment style is usually able to form positive opinions about themselves and their partner. The relationship dynamics tend to be balanced a separation is not seen as negative, but as a natural thing to experience.  This type of attachment develops when the child has caregivers that are attuned to their needs, given them consistency care, with attention and affection. When children grow up in a safe and stable environment the grow feeling safe to explore and interact with other, growing up to be adults able to give and receive love.

Avoidant attachment: individuals with this attachment style feel that they do not need close social relationships.They see themselves as highly independent and refuse any possibility of deepening connections.When growing up those individuals had emotionally unavailable caregivers that used to provide insensitive responses to the child’s need for connection. As adults, they struggle to experience (and show) emotions. The lack of attunement can end up in isolation and disconnection from others. When in therapy, people with avoidant attachment might benefit from the possibility to form a genuine relationship with the therapist, where they can exist as they are, without seeking approval.

  • Ambivalent attachment: this attachment style corresponds to the desire for high levels of intimacy, resulting in extreme dependence on the partner. They are insecure people who question tend their own worth, oftentimes putting the partner’s need before their own. When growing up, those children had parents who were ambivalent in attuning to their needs, lacking consistency and making it necessary for the child to look out for ways that their behaviour would change parents’ responses. Individuals with this attachment style might constantly be dissatisfied, projecting their family history onto the relationship. Ambivalent people can fear the loss of the relationship and, at the same time, create it by dismissing partner’s love.

Disorganized attachment: Individuals with this attachment style has difficulties in establishing deep bonds, although there is may be a deep desire to do so. Emotional intimacy is intimidating, at the same time that it is desired. Disorganized people are suspicious of partner’s intentionsas they were exposed to confusing and contradicting messages from caregivers and situations that were impossible to resolve. For that, the child learns that they are unable to solve problems and have their parents as the source of fear. Individuals with this style develops the need to get closer to a parent at the same time as they need to run from this dangerous and confusing situation.

Have you recognize your attachment style? Do you see it playing an important role in the relationships you have with others?

Anxiety: What is it? Know some of the symptoms that deserve your attention.

Anxiety is a term overused in current time and days. It comprises various di various disorders that cause nervousness, fear, apprehension and worry.

There is a misconception that one needs to ‘get rid of anxiety’. It serves an important purpose and is a common reaction experienced by individuals when facing a wide variety of situations, such as public speaking, high expectation for important dates, tests and others.

However, there are people that experience those reactions more often and more intense than others, which can be considered a disorder that needs professional attention. Anxiety disorders differ from normal, adaptive fear or anxiety in that they are excessive or persist beyond periods considered appropriate to the situation. Or sometimes it tends to last even after the removal of the trigger But how can we know when a ‘typical’ anxiety response becomes a disorder? Below you will find some guidance on how to distinguish a natural response from  excessive reactions.

Common anxiety symptoms:

  • When there is potential danger in every situation;
  • Sleep disturbances;
  • . Excessive worries;
  • Irrational fears;
  • Restlessness;
  • Intrusive thoughts;
  • Digestive problems;
  • Physical complains.

Potential danger in every situation:

Individuals with anxiety disorders often overestimate danger in situations they fear or avoid, at the same that that their anxiety response is excessive and out of proportion.  When dealing with situations that make one nervous, the person tends to think about the worst outcome possible, hence having a body response appropriate to this imagined situation.

Sleep disturbances

When the person is anxious, they tend to experience difficulties in falling (or staying asleep). Insomnia is a quite common response when the individual engages in thinking (and worrying) about important meetings or events. Those individuals might be unable to disconnect from what they have done throughout the and may spend the night planning what they will do on the next day.

Excessive worries:

They are always concerned with the future. Even more in times of economic crisis, it is common to see people thinking about maintaining their jobs.

Excessive worry is a direct source of headaches, ulcers, anxiety and stress, and can even affect the immune system.

In addition, this anguish and the volume of details to think greatly affects the attention of the person with anxiety, which makes it difficult to focus.

Thus, it loses efficiency in its daily activities, and this increases the concerns, making everything a cycle that can generate despair and other problems.

In severe cases, individuals with GAD may not even have a specific event on which to focus; they may have inexplicable anxiety about mundane and routine things. Constant worry can be severely debilitating. Therapy can help individuals gain perspective through discussion and learn coping mechanisms.

8 – Medos irracionais

Medos de estar perdendo alguma coisa, de não ser bom o suficiente, medo do fracasso, pânico de ficar sozinho ou de não ser aceito também perseguem pessoas ansiosas.

Campeões de autocrítica, são os primeiros a não se sentir capazes o suficiente para concluir uma determinada atividade. O excesso de medo pode comprometer a segurança nas relações pessoais, seja no trabalho ou na família.

9 – Inquietação constante

Dificuldade de concentração, inquietação e fadiga. O indivíduo apresenta uma angústia intensa, não consegue ficar quieto, caminha de um lado para o outro, desespera-se.

Fatores que geram grande desconforto ao atrapalhar a conclusão de uma tarefa, além de afetar a qualidade de vida da própria pessoa e também de quem está ao seu lado.

13 – Problemas digestivos

Um sistema muito afetado pelo estresse e ansiedade é o gastrointestinal. Dores, má digestão, mal-estar no abdômen, diarreia e azia são alguns dos sinais.

Consequentemente, ansiedade excessiva e estresse agudo podem alterar as funções gastrointestinais por meio do sistema nervoso.

Como consequência dessas alterações podem surgir úlceras, gastrites, doenças inflamatórias, refluxo gastroesofágico e síndrome do intestino irritável.

10 – Sinais físicos

Nos momentos de ansiedade, podem surgir sintomas físicos que vão além das dores musculares:

  • tremores;
  • cansaço
  • sensação de falta de ar ou asfixia;
  • coração acelerado;
  • suor excessivo;
  • mãos frias e suadas;
  • boca seca, tontura;
  • náuseas;
  • diarreia;
  • desconforto abdominal;
  • ondas de calor;
  • calafrios;
  • micção frequente;
  • dificuldade para engolir;
  • sensação de engasgo.

How to control anxiety?

We learn to control anxiety when we discover its emotional triggers. Thus, one of the best current tools for dealing with anxious moments is psychotherapy.


t is possible to identify triggers on your own or with the therapist. Sometimes, the ways are obvious, such as excessive consumption of caffeine, alcohol or cigarettes. Other times, they may be less obvious.

Eventually, long-term problems like financial or work-related difficulties can take some time to be discovered.

Thus, we can be impacted by a due date, a person or the situation and not realize it. This may require some extra support, through therapy, or with friends and mentors.

When you discover his or her triggers, try to limit your exposure if you can. However, if you are unable or unable to reduce contact, as in the case of a stressful work environment, which cannot be changed at the moment, the use of other coping techniques can help.

Estratégias para controlar a ansiedade

Controlar a ansiedade é um desafio, mas existem estratégias, recursos e até mesmo mudanças que você pode fazer em seu dia a dia que vão auxiliar com isso!

Separamos alguns abaixo. Veja:

Sessões de Psicoterapia 

Psicoterapia é um processo que pode ajudar, e muito, os indivíduos que sofrem com ansiedade. É um tratamento colaborativo baseado na relação entre um indivíduo e um psicólogo.

Baseado em diálogo, ele fornece um ambiente de apoio que permite falar abertamente com alguém que é objetivo, neutro e sem julgamento.

Você e seu psicólogo trabalharão juntos para identificar e mudar os padrões de pensamento e comportamento que o impedem de sentir o seu melhor, aumentando o autoconhecimento e a resiliência.

Uma das abordagens bastante eficientes no tratamento de quadros ansiosos é a Terapia Cognitivo Comportamental, que tem uma atuação bastante focal e direta.

Praticar atividade física

Reserve um tempo para uma caminhada, corrida ou qualquer atividade física que te proporcione prazer.

Atividade física realizada de forma regular ajuda a fortalecer o sistema imunológico, prevenir doenças cardiovasculares e obesidade. Igualmente, ela aumenta o bem-estar, a disposição para atividades do dia a dia e a produtividade no trabalho.

Também diminui a insônia e melhora a saúde mental, prevenindo a depressão. Entretanto, se você é do tipo competitivo, estabeleça uma meta, como por exemplo correr uma prova de 5 ou 10 km.

Como resultado, a prática frequente de atividade física regula o sono, pois a prática de exercícios libera endorfina, que proporciona bem-estar e diminui a ansiedade e o estresse.

Praticar meditação

Neurocientistas já comprovaram que a prática de meditação contribui para aumentar a região do córtex pré-frontal esquerdo, região responsável pelo sentimento de felicidade.

Assim, cinco minutos diários para observar a respiração já são eficientes para o começo. Se possível estimule sua equipe a meditar também, os ganhos serão enormes.

Mindfulness é uma das intervenções mais eficientes para reduzir o estresse e o sistema imunológico. Eu gosto bastante e uso o Headspace.

Inclusive, descobri recentemente o app da Vivo Meditação, já em português. Quem sabe você não começa a meditar hoje mesmo?

Ouvir música

A música ajuda relaxar, extravasar, expressar, dançar, celebrar, interiorizar, descansar… Ainda mais no Brasil, onde a narrativa social e o cotidiano são musicais.

Ela é um elemento terapêutico por excelência. É algo medicinal e sem contra-indicações. Quando foi a última vez que você curtiu sua música preferida?

Manter uma alimentação saudável

Um cérebro saudável é a primeira linha de defesa contra a ansiedade, depressão e outros transtornos do humor.

De fato, algumas vitaminas são necessárias para a formação de neurotransmissores que estimulam o bom humor, enquanto outras fornecem energia para células cerebrais ou as protegem de danos. Assim como os nossos órgãos, o nosso cérebro precisa de certas vitaminas para funcionar normalmente.

Todos passamos por momentos de ansiedade e stress. Se forem muito frequentes ou muito intensos, podem indicar a necessidade de auxílio de profissionais especializados.

When reactions get out of control and worries persist for longer period of time after the removal of the trigger

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