Why is Change so Scary?
A new job, a new school, new friends or a new town: all of these things are exciting. They can, however, also be scary. How do you settle in? How do you adapt and be happy with the change?
We crave predictability and comfort but with change follows the unknown and discomfort. Every time things change, we learn to navigate through it, adapting quicker and quicker each time.
A common belief is getting a new job causes happiness and joy. While that is the case, it can also cause anxiety. Anxiety can stem from all kinds of different thoughts. Thoughts such as, “Is this the right job for me?” or “Am I doing everything correctly?” These thoughts are completely normal and most (if not every) young person have these same thoughts.
Something else about a new job that may cause anxiety is a new schedule to follow. Humans are creatures of habit. Having to start a brand-new schedule can be hard. Your body and mind must now adjust their eating, sleeping and workout schedule.
Starting a new relationship is exciting but it can also be nerve-wracking. Everyone has experienced the butterflies that accompany a new relationship. But for some, the better you feel about your future with a new partner, the more pressure you might experience not to mess it up. You may find yourself with less time to devote to friends or hobbies, more responsibilities, or going through related life changes. Yes, all of these things are exciting! But like any change, they can be stressful as well.
Change of location
Moving can be especially scary if you move to a new place and do not know a single person. Making friends after leaving high school can be difficult enough as is, without throwing in a new environment where you do not know anybody. When feeling lost and alone, feelings of depression may start to occur.
How to handle change
There are many ways to make friends in a new place. For one, you can check out local community organizations related to things that interest you. Doing this is a great way to jump into friendships where you already share some common ground.
A positive attitude towards change involves knowing what we can and cannot control in a situation and utilizing our resources and strengths to do the best we can. Positivity towards change improves our performance and the outcome of it.
You can also generate more positive thoughts if you take the time to remind yourself about transitions and challenges you have successfully navigated in the past. Make a list of ways you have been resilient in your life, and consider which of these traits and actions might be able to see you through the current challenge. By focusing on your strengths instead of your weaknesses, you will feel more empowered to face what lies ahead.
Taking initiative is a crucial step in settling in and moving forward. It allows us to keep ahead and not be overwhelmed with unwanted surprises. Make a plan and take action. Create a checklist and keep a journal. Take control of what you can and it will help you settle in.
Focus on living a balanced and healthy life. Finding balance during change is difficult. Stress is a normal response to dealing with changes and challenges. You can focus on being well balanced by eating healthy, getting enough sleep, exercising regularly, connecting with others, and reducing your caffeine and sugar intake.
Give yourself time to settle in
When we resist change, we knowingly or unknowingly behave in ways that attempt to keep things as they are, and so extending the time it takes to adjust to it. Wanting to do this is completely understandable because of our desire to remain safe and secure and to avoid the unknown. If our attitudes and actions are not on the same page, you can cause confusion and tension for yourself.
We all want to live successful, happy lives. To achieve this, we need to be proactive about managing the changes we face in our lives and how we settle in..
"YOUR LIFE DOES NOT GET BETTER BY CHANCE, IT GETS BETTER BY CHANGE." - JIM ROHN
Mari van Wyk