Changes & Anxiety

Do you ever just want to throw away everything you own, grab the people you love and move to a whole new country? Because I get that feeling all the time. However, when change actually comes around the corner I shy away from it. Turns out, no matter how much I crave a big change I´m much more terrified of it - and my anxiety might play a big part in that. But change is inevitable and something we should embrace. I´ve compiled a list of 7 tips that help me embrace change with my anxiety.

The fear of change is something very natural. Our brains are wired in favour of repetition and similarity. What we know is often a strong form of comfort for us - especially when our mental health is not at 100%. Giving up that feeling of comfort can feel unbearable. With anxiety comfort, knowing our surroundings and and being able to plan ahead are like little security blankets in our everyday. But in our fast-moving world change is inevitable and necessary. We as people constantly grow and evolve and our lives need to adapt to this. Otherwise we stop growing which means we stop in our battle agains anxiety. So instead of avoiding change we should embrace it.

Make A List Of All The Positive Things This Change Will Bring

It´s so easy to dismiss all of the positive sides when anxiety is ruling your thoughts. Anxiety likes to focus on the negative. Making yourself aware of the positive aspects will push your anxiety back. Also, by writing it down you´re more likely to actually believe in these positive sides and you can always read the list again when you´re anxiety acts up.

Take A Form Of Comfort With You

As mentioned, comfort is something very important when you´re struggling with anxiety. A safe space gives you the change to calm yourself down and feel at home. Having something from your usual safe space - e.g. the same pictures on your desk, the bedding you love - in your changed space will help you feel safe much easier.

Look At What You´ve Already Achieved

Despite what anxiety might want to tell you you´ve overcome a lot in your life already. You´ve gone through so many changes and something great has come out of them! Remember how that felt and figure out what helped you during that time of change. Try to incorporate those little helpers again! They´ll be a sign of comfort too.

Break Change Down

Staring a big change in the eye is terrifying. So instead break that big change down into many little steps of change that you can do more easily. Maybe even take a few days between each little change to help you adapt to the new situation. When I was recently moving to a new city I was able to furnish my room a week before actually moving in. That way I already knew my new surroundings and had spent a night there which made the big move easier.

Keep Your Routines Going

Similar to comfort your daily routines are something that helps a lot with anxiety - they are safety blankets as well. Try to keep those routines going as much as you can. Your brain will thank you for that bit of safety in your new lifestyle. When you start feeling more comfortable with the change you can adapt your routines.

What Are You Afraid Of Exactly?

It´s easy to say that you´re scared but it´s often hard to pinpoint what exactly causes your anxiety in that situation. Trying to figure out the exact causes of your anxiety makes it easier to plan around them. You can adapt your plan and find solutions to these causes! (or you can acknowledge that they're nothing to be afraid of)

Plan Ahead & Keep Yourself Busy

When you´re struggling with anxiety planning and organising are most likely very common for you anyway. Use that to make the change as smoothly as possible. For me, anxiety also gets a lot harder to combat when I´ve got time on my hands as I have time to worry about things. So I always make sure that I have a busy time planned right after the change that way I´ll enjoy the new lifestyle rather than worry if this change was actually a good thing.

Yes, change is hard. Yes, it´s even harder with anxiety. But that doesn´t mean it has to be a bad thing. With anxiety our mind is always trying to tell us that the worst possible thing might happen. Not knowing what lies ahead can make this even worse. But believe me that change is possible and great even when you´re struggling with anxiety. As I said before, change will help you grow and overcome your anxiety even more.

However, embracing change isn't always easy on your own. It takes a lot of courage to admit that you cannot do this on your own but looking for help is definitely worth it! Personally, trying out therapy was the best decision I could've made a the start of my anxiety. It helped me so much. If you are realising that you may need help check out these tips on how to find a therapist near you by BetterHelp. In any way that you're embracing change you´re learning to be flexible and spontaneous and making great new experiences that´ll also fight against your anxiety!

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