How To Stop Codependency Anxiety

By Jaylin Rodriguez

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If you clicked on this article, you are probably wondering how to stop codependency anxiety?

how to stop codependency anxiety

In order to stop codependency anxiety, it might be helpful to get a little background. Anxious attachments is one of four attachment styles founded by John Bowlby in the 1950s. 

Those with anxious attachment styles live in fear of abandonment and are in need of constant reassurance from loved ones. This attachment style is a result of inconsistent parenting that children become dependent on. 

Children learn that their parents are unpredictable, showing love one day and being emotionally unavailable the next, and because of this, they develop stronger emotions to being separated and feel a deep need to be very close to their parents.

codependency anxiety

So what is codependency? Codependency can be an outcome of an anxious attachment style. It is also a learned behavior passed down from generation to generation through observational learning, meaning we learned this behavior because our parents displayed it.

Mental Health America defines it as an emotional and behavioral condition that affects a person’s ability to have a healthy and mutually satisfying relationship. 

Basically, it’s a relationship where two people can’t function independently anymore because they are so invested in each other. Their mood, happiness, and even identity is defined by the other leading to an unhealthy and emotionally damaging relationship. 

Being codependent is putting your needs second to the other person in the relationship. Codependent people tend to form and depend on relationships like these. 

Codependent relationships are not just romantic. They can be platonic with friends or family members. 

Common characteristics of codependency include:

  • tendency to seek approval from others
  • people pleasing behavior (especially to avoid conflict)
  • poor interpersonal boundaries
  • fear of rejection and abandonment 
  • low self-esteem
  • pattern of avoiding conflict 
  • minimizing or ignoring your own interests/desires 
  • “managing” loved ones
  • overly concerned with the needs and feelings of your partner 
  • trouble regulating your emotions
  • difficulty making decisions on your own 

As mentioned earlier, codependency is a learned behavior. Which means, it can be unlearned. So, how do we do that? 


I might be biased on this, but one way to stop codependency anxiety is going to therapy. I get it, you read this whole blog to see how you can manage your codependency anxiety just for me to tell you to go to therapy. 

BUT, therapy is actually a great way to stop codependency anxiety. Here’s why: 

A therapist can help you recognize key signs of codependency, address feelings of anxiety, depression, or guilt, and can help you learn how to set healthy boundaries. 

A codependent relationship is complex. Sometimes, we need a little help to break it down and that’s what a therapist is there to do. 

codependency anxiety

However, sometimes therapy isn’t easily accessible or it’s just not the right thing for you at the moment. That is totally okay. There are other ways to help yourself end codependent anxiety.          


In order to stop codependency anxiety, you have to learn how to detach from your partner. By detaching, I mean putting space between you and your partner. 

Draw a thick line and stay in your space. This can help you become more aware of your feelings. It can also help you refrain from stepping into your partner’s “space” to try and fix things and to differentiate what you can and cannot control. 

When you start feeling a high level of anxiety, take a step back and distance yourself from the trigger, or the person/situation that is causing that anxiety.

One feeling is going to come up as you do this. Codependents can’t help but feel guilty when they attempt to put themselves first. That is a totally normal feeling. Just remember that it was never your job in the first place to take responsibility for others actions or feelings. 

Cut the cord

Practice Putting Your Needs First

Unfortunately, this is not as simple as it sounds. This will definitely take practice, so don’t beat yourself up if you give in the first couple of times. 

Along with detaching, practice putting your needs first. This can look like getting ready before getting someone else ready. This can also look like saying “no”. “No” is a full sentence.

 Repeat after me: “No” is a full sentence. 

Putting your needs first can be saying no to extra responsibilities. People pleasing is a hard habit to break. It leads to anxiety, stress, and energy loss. Establish and communicate boundaries. Be clear and don’t let anyone cross those boundaries you established. Advocate for yourself. 

Make it a daily thing to put your needs first before others. Lessen the guilt by remembering that you are important too. Your needs matter. You matter. 

how to stop codependency anxiety

Make Time For You

Pretty simple, right? Except this can be very difficult for those with codependent tendencies. As mentioned earlier, codependents fear rejection, abandonment, criticism, failure, and not being good enough. Situations and people that trigger these fears increase anxiety. 

A great way to combat this is setting aside time for yourself. Discover things you like to do. Find out what your interests and hobbies are. Spend time independently to get to know yourself better. 

just a little me time

Journaling can be a great way to get to know yourself. 

Self-Reflect on Codependency

Taking the time to get to know yourself can be so helpful in identifying your needs and desires. It can allow you to be present and to trust yourself to fill your needs that weren’t being filled before. 

Through self-reflection, you can view yourself in a new light. It allows you to notice your feelings and thoughts and reflect on how and why they came. This is a great way for you to take time in understanding what causes certain feelings and the deeper meaning behind them. 

Self-reflection leads to self-awareness which is a great tool in preventing and managing anxiety. 

how to stop codependency anxiety

Focus On The Present 

Anxiety can cause us to get caught up in what might happen. We’re so focused on the what ifs that we lose sight of what’s happening presently. 

Focusing on the present can help us avoid becoming overwhelmed and stressed out. 

Practice Being Mindful 

Meditation and mindfulness can be so beneficial in focusing on the present and becoming self-aware. Mindfulness involves learning how to be aware, or mindful, of your thoughts and feelings when they rise whether they are negative or positive. 

Through mindfulness, you can learn to stop believing those immediate thoughts and feelings and instead dive deeper into them. This will be beneficial in not becoming overwhelmed with anxiety and stress. 

Meditation is a great way to practice mindfulness. This can be achieved through as little as 5 minute daily meditations. Apps like Headspace are great for this.

Practice Self-Compassion

Self-compassion will be so important throughout this journey of stopping codependency anxiety. 

Self-compassion is being understanding and empathetic towards yourself instead of harsh and judgey. It’s the greatest form of self-care.

Having self-compassion can give you the courage to put your needs first and become independent of your partner while still maintaining healthy relationships. 

Self-compassion can give us the motivation to make changes that improve our overall well-being

how to stop codependency anxiety

Codependency anxiety is complex, but it can be stopped. Your happiness should be dependent on you, not someone else. 

Whether it be therapy, journaling, meditation, or self-compassion, there are lots of ways to stop codependency anxiety. 

You are your own person. Find what you love to do and what your needs are. Be your biggest fan. 


If you are looking to overcome your codependency anxiety, feel free to contact us today! 

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