Anxiety from Change: Overcoming Fears of Something New
Anxiety from change occurs often, but it can be even more challenging to cope with when you deal with chronic anxiety. Just recently, I started a new endeavor. Since I have become very mindful of my anxiety, I have also become aware of when my anxiety symptoms worsen and it becomes difficult for me to function. This is something I noticed when I started this new undertaking. I began having a hard time sleeping, and my stomach was constantly in knots. I had panic attacks and I was feeling emotionally exhausted. I have noticed this anxiety often happens when I try something new.
When I reflect back on my life, I know that there have been many times that I have shied away from doing something new or making a change in my life for fear of how I would feel when I made the change. I know that I have been hesitant about taking advantage of new opportunities that have presented themselves for fear of discomfort that I would feel from veering away from the routine that I am comfortable with.
In short, I experience severe anxiety from change.
Ways to Cope When You Get Anxiety from Change
But, throughout the years, I have really tried to work on taking control of the ways in which I react to change and any situation that is new and uncomfortable. I am not always successful, just as I have experienced with the recent changes in my life. But I do find that the more that I work on these things to try and embrace change, the more prepared I feel to move forward with less nervousness and fear. I'm learning to cope with anxiety from change.
If you experience anxiety from change, before walking away from something that seems intimidating or scary, try these tips:
- Identify what is causing anxiety. What about the change or new opportunity is bringing out those fearful feelings? You may find that, by pinpointing exactly what is raising those anxious feelings, you are better able to deal with what you do have control over, and you are able to let go of what you do not.
- Talk to someone. Whether it is a friend, spouse, counselor, or simply someone you trust, talking about your fears, concerns, and what you are nervous about can help you to process it and ultimately gather up the courage to confront it. I know that talking to my husband about my new endeavor helped me to feel brave enough to get started and begin moving forward.
- Change any negative thoughts into positive ones. I find that this is true for many anxiety-inducing events, but particularly for ones that I am fearful of confronting. For example, if you experience anxiety before public speaking, and you find that you tend to catastrophize -- something I often find myself doing -- try changing the negative language you find yourself thinking into positive words.
- Set a goal for yourself. I find that focusing my energy on a goal is often helpful for me to cope with anxiety from something new. For example, if I have started a new job, and I know that this new job is an important step towards accomplishing a long-term goal, then I am able to reframe my thoughts surrounding the anxiety I feel and can focus the energy on what I am ultimately aiming to accomplish.
I know that change can sometimes be scary, especially when you experience chronic anxiety. Try using some of these steps to help you feel better about change.
Are there certain strategies that work for you when you feel anxiety from change? Share them in the comments below.
Bermio-Gonzalez, R. (2020, February 25). Anxiety from Change: Overcoming Fears of Something New, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2020, October 20 from https://www.healthyplace.com/blogs/treatinganxiety/2020/2/anxiety-from-change-overcoming-fears-of-something-new