This year has been heavy. From a global pandemic to civil unrest that has transformed our lives forever. Life will always come with a pattern of twists and turns leaving us to feel the highs and lows of our emotions. Many people are finding themselves feeling anxious in response to the immense amount of change that is occurring. Change is the evidence of transformation and offers opportunities to grow into a greater version of ourselves.
Experiencing anxiety around change is as natural as change itself because humans are creatures of habit and find comfort in the familiar. When those comforting staples are threatened, even if the change is positive in nature, it elicits fear of the unknown and the anxiety will begin a negative emotional spiral.
Try these steps for facing change and anchoring your anxiety:
• Use positive change language to shift your mindset. For example, rather than thinking “ugh I hate this” Try swapping that thought for “this is making me feel nervous but its normal to feel nervous right now. Feeling nervous does not mean things will be negative, it’s just a feeling.
• Remember what we think, leads to what we feel, which leads to how we behave.
• Use cognitive restructuring as a technique to calm your thoughts in the face of change or anxiety
— Identify the negative thought as it enters your mind. Recognize it is a function of anxiety, not fact.
— Think about how that thought makes you feel and want to behave
— Consider the evidence and challenge the accuracy of your thoughts. Ask yourself what’s more likely to be true.
— Now ground yourself in the more reasonable likely truth and base your action steps from that healthier head space.
Managing feelings of anxiety is not about avoiding the feeling. Recognizing what negative thought patterns are occurring and making intentional cognitive shifts are the key to being able to embrace the transformation occurring in your life. Anxiety is tough but with support you can learn skills to manage that feeling and return to a more balanced emotional state. Contact Heart2Heart today for a FREE consultation regarding ways our Online Digital Wellness Center can help you.
Glynita Bell, MSSW, LCSW, ABD is the founder of Heart 2 Heart Wellness Center, She specializes in treating depression, anxiety, mood and behavioral disorders for adults and children. Glynita holds certifications as a Cognitive Behavioral Therapist, a Certified Clinical Trauma Professional, and a Licensed Clinical Social Worker. Her research interests include school-based bullying interventions, stress management interventions for helping professionals, and best practices for cultural humility in employment and academic settings.