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Scared to Make a Change: 5 Ways to Combat Anxiety

Just the thought of making a change can produce anxiety. It is easy to get caught up in wanting to stay where you are now just to remain comfortable. Sometimes to make a change, you have to first go through a state of fear. If you’re experiencing this, you are not alone. It can be scary to face the unknown. Unfortunately, anxiety is a feeling that can prevent you from achieving great things in your life and recovery.

This blog post will explore why change can stir up anxiety. Then it will provide five helpful ways to combat anxiety. Finally, this post will dive into how The Guest House provides opportunities for our alumni to make changes that can ease their anxiety.

Why Do I Feel Anxious?

Anxiety can come from a variety of sources and it may not be the same source each time. You may feel restless or struggle with sleeping patterns before an important interview, test, or meeting, for example. Perhaps you feel nauseated thinking about driving through the city or cry when considering your budget. Anxiety is a real emotion and everyone reacts differently to anxiety.

Sometimes the feeling can come on quickly and sometimes your thought process may trigger the anxiety. No matter what the case, there is usually a trigger that causes you to feel anxious. Anxiety often starts with a fear of the unknown or uncertainty. When your brain does not have enough information to make a prediction, then it may spiral into what-ifs and negative thoughts.

Only you know what is causing your anxiety and only you can change your thought processes to reduce the fear of losing control in your life. Anxiety can lead to an array of emotions, including depression. Studies suggest that more than 90% of people with an anxiety disorder also struggle with depression.

Make a Change to Combat Anxiety in Five Simple Steps

There is no one-size-fits-all solution when addressing anxiety and/or depression. While many options will guide you to living your best life, not everything will work for everyone. When you experience anxiety, your body’s stress hormones are released and cortisol and adrenaline are activated. Although these hormones are important for keeping you out of danger, they are not helpful when you’re simply trying to adjust to a situation.

The important thing is deciding to make a change in your life and not letting anxiety block this move. It is good to start small by adding a minor change to your life. You do not want to make a major change and then quit because you feel overwhelmed. Give yourself space and grace to decrease your anxious thoughts as you learn to cope with change.

#1. Make a Change With Exercise

It is not a big surprise that exercise is good for you. According to the American Heart Association, to maintain good physical health, you should get at least 150 minutes (2.5 hours) of heart-pumping exercise each week. Exercise triggers the right neurotransmitters throughout your body while releasing pent-up energy. This relaxes the body and therefore decreases anxiety.

#2. Meditation and Yoga

An array of relaxation techniques are out there for you to experiment with. Not everything produces relaxation for everyone. You may have to try several methods before you find what works. Meditation and yoga have been known to promote relaxation and allow anxious thoughts to dissipate. Also, contrary to many people’s beliefs, you do not have to be flexible to practice yoga. Likewise, you do not have to be a seasoned meditator to meditate. All you need is a willingness to try.

#3. Journal Your Way Into a Change

Writing your thoughts down on paper can be an empowering experience. Journaling can be a beneficial tool for anyone. When you journal, you have a place where you can release negative thoughts, and no one has permission to see the result but you. Journaling allows you to unpack your bags without anyone noticing.

Additionally, writing your thoughts on paper will release negative feelings. As your anxiety surfaces, you can discuss these fearful feelings and associated thoughts. As you write, you may find that you begin questioning whether your anxiety is necessary. You may be surprised as to what you discover about yourself and the answers that may come to you. Perhaps you’ll leave your journaling session feeling much lighter and more willing to address situations you feared before.

#4. Make a Change to Your Sleep Routine

Develop a sleep routine by going to bed at the same time each night. Sleep is important in reducing anxiety throughout your day. When practicing good sleep hygiene, you will allow your body to reset and wake up feeling refreshed. Routines can make daily actions automatic in nearly every aspect of life. For example, an established sleep routine may create other routines, like journaling first thing or throughout your day. Restful sleep allows the mind to think clearly instead of responding reflexively.

#5. Make a Change With Individual Counseling

Talk therapy is one of the oldest remedies and well-researched forms of mental health care. Exploring and sharing your thought processes with a counselor can deepen your sense of the human experience. The Guest House provides you with a chance for a cathartic experience through individual counseling.

Sometimes anxiety causes pent-up stress that can feel like it’s holding you hostage. The fatigue of carrying around unshared emotional burdens can lead to unhealthy coping skills. On the other hand, spending time processing your unheard emotions with a caring person can result in a sense of emotional freedom.

Feeling like there is a weight on your shoulders can be physically and mentally exhausting. Anxiety can create heavy burdens and make you feel immobile. Unfortunately, spending time thinking about things in your life you cannot control creates anxious thinking processes. These thought patterns can then lead to unhealthy coping strategies. At The Guest House, we understand anxiety and how it can impact the brain and your life. We can help you explore how to more easily face changes in your life. When you become more empowered and leave anxiety behind, this can have a lasting impact on your recovery. If you or someone you know is struggling with anxiety in recovery, give us a call at (855) 483-7800 today.