“There is nothing permanent except change.” -Heraclitus
Oftentimes, we forget that change is inevitable. We see the people around us growing and evolving but it’s as if we forget that they are supposed to do so. They, just like us, are supposed to change, grow, and evolve.
Yet, when it comes to change or making transitions in life, we falter. And for good reason, after all, transitions are hard. Making new adjustments can be scary and quite stressful. And it’s common to feel anxious because then you get to do it all over again. Start anew.
When change comes, it brings with it a sense of feeling out of control. More often than not, change comes unannounced. And when you’re not expecting it, everything becomes too real and impactful. Feeling uneasy during transition or change is OK, but if the transition is making you feel more than just stressed, then it could be transitioning anxiety or change anxiety.
Let’s take a look at what transition anxiety is, how it affects us, and how you can deal with anxiety over change or transitions in life.
What Is Transition Anxiety?
Transition anxiety or change anxiety is when you feel stressed or worry excessively when faced with a sudden adjustment in your life. The sudden change could be related to your job, your family situation, your social life, or anything else that you consider important in your life.
Some examples of profound changes or transitions in your life can include going through a partner separation/divorce, losing a job, changing a job, moving out of your hometown, moving to a new country, losing friends, etc. These sudden changes could be on a small scale – such as a change in routine – nevertheless, they can be quite overwhelming.
The inability to cope with small changes can make you feel stressed, worried, and overwhelmed, causing transition anxiety. Most of us are used to the routine, so any change to that routine can make us resistant to change. When faced with a sudden transition, we get anxious and fear the unknown.
Routines give us a sense of stability but when that stability is replaced by what we consider “unknown factors”, it gives birth to uncertainties. Uncertainty in life is enough to give birth to anxiety. When we can’t find comfort or safety in the middle of the transition in life, we feel uncomfortable, and out of our comfort zone, triggering anxiety. Or in our case, change anxiety.
How Does It Affect Our Mental Health?
Transition in life can affect all of us – children and adults alike. Of course, due to differences in age and experience, change can affect adults and children differently.
Transition anxiety in adults can look like this;
Increase in unhealthy habits
In children or toddlers, a transition anxiety disorder can look like this;
Throwing temper tantrums
Acting out of character – at home and school
Complaining of headaches
Withdrawing from loved ones
Poor academic performance
Poor eating habits, and
Poor sleeping patterns
How To Deal With Change Anxiety? 1. Accept Change is Inevitable
To deal with change anxiety, you need to first accept that change is a part of our lives and inevitable. Once you develop this mindset, it becomes easier to understand what you can control and what you can’t.
You can’t control change but you can control how you react to the transition. Try to understand what you’re experiencing so that you don’t feel overwhelmed.
2. Engage in Exercising
You can’t keep living with constant stress and anxiety as it can take a toll on your physical health along with your mental health. One of the best ways to let go of your emotions is to engage in regular exercise. You can deal with your anxiety by working out.
Just a 30-minute exercise every day can help you reduce your anxiety and improve your mood.
3. Take Care of Yourself
Self-care needs to be a part of your routine too, especially when you’re dealing with transitional anxiety. Self-care techniques can help you not only manage your stress and anxiety but also give you time to relax and make sure your emotions don’t go awry.
Try to maintain a healthy diet and a proper sleep schedule for a start. Making these small changes can allow you to deal with anxiety over change and give you the mental strength to deal with whatever comes next.
4. Write in a Journal
Another great way to deal with change anxiety or transitional anxiety is to pour your thoughts into a journal. Writing your thoughts and feelings in a journal is a healthy way of coping with stressful and overwhelming emotions.
This activity also helps you reassess your focus and brings your attention to the present moment, instead of focusing on the unknown future. When you put your thoughts and feelings on paper, you allow your brain to release stress and anxiety, improving your overall mood too.
Transitions are hard. Any unexpected change in life can not only feel uncomfortable but also overwhelming. It’s OK to feel discomforted by change, especially when you’re experiencing a transition in life, but when discomfort turns to anxiety, that’s when you need to step up.
Dealing with major or minor transitions in life can be a cause of anxiety as they push you out of your comfort zone, sometimes without your permission. It is enough to make anyone feel anxious and stressed as the fear of the unknown and uncertainties pop up.
However, you can easily deal with change anxiety by learning how to accept the inevitable, managing day-to-day stress, taking care of yourself regularly, and writing down your thoughts and feelings in a journal.
If you’re still struggling with managing transitional anxiety, then you can connect with a therapist. A therapist can help you understand the cause of your anxiety and teach you the right coping strategies to deal with change anxiety.
I hope this blog helped you understand what transitional anxiety is and how to deal with anxiety over change in life. For more, you can drop us an email at email@example.com or DM us on social media. You can also share your thoughts in the comments below.
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