Our physical response to periods of emotional distress is known as “fight or flight”, which sounds like a list of Superman’s options in a scrap, but refers to a form of primal instinct that takes over our bodies in order to ensure our survival.
The state this induces causes adrenaline levels to rise, resulting in physical symptoms such as sweating, trembling, constricted vocal chords and topped off with the heightened sensory perception that makes you hyper-aware of just what a shambles you’ve become. No wonder we sometimes feel anxious in social situations, right?
The key word when it comes to describing the source of anxiety in anticipation.
Unless your bride to be is Wednesday Addams or that hot cousin from The Munsters, in which Unless your bride to be is Wednesday Addams or that hot cousin from The Munsters, in which case her family might actually be planning to eat you alive, chances are the event itself is not the source of your fear. Rather, the anticipation of one’s own perceived failure in a given situation is the catalyst for a negative response to it. In other words, it isn’t the congregation heckling you that’s causing you to fall apart, but your fear of such a potential event. In this case, your course of action is clear: simply recognizing the severe unlikelihood of any wedding attendee acting in such a disrespectful and abhorrent manner is the first step.
In order to offset the anticipation such an extremely unlikely worst-case scenario, two options present themselves: first, to anticipate instead the far greater likelihood that the guests assembled to celebrate the occasion of your marriage will treat you with reverence and warmth regardless of your level of composure; second, to concentrate on the present, and avoid all thought of the future altogether.
Anticipation can be a difficult thing to overcome or ignore, and when it comes to your wedding or any happy occasion, you’re going to experience some positive anticipation too. Better then to focus on the positive, and on logic. For whatever reason you might find yourself lacking confidence, there are some fundamental truths to bear in mind.