Discovering new places, meeting new people and accepting new challenges. It might feel exciting for some, but scary for others. We’re usually not very fond of change. When something changes we want to have as much control over the situation as possible. But why do we dislike change this much? Why do new things make us feel anxious?

Routine

People like routine. Our lives revolve around routine, because it causes as little stress as possible. Fixed bed times, fixed lunch times; it helps us to go about our day without having to think about it. Not having to think about it will cost you less energy. Beside, your body gets used to the stimuli you receive during these fixed moments. In short, life is easier when every day is the same!

Change

It costs time and energy to get used to a new situation. New situations bring unexpected challenges like meeting new people or having to do things you haven’t done before. It requires adaptability and responsiveness. Because you don’t know what to expect, the chance that something will go wrong might feel a lot bigger. In addition, new situations can cause a certain amount of fear; being in a new situation means having less control, which can feel be uncomfortable.

Worst case scenario

It is completely natural that you might experience some anxiety in new situations. However, when you feel anxious your body is preparing itself for danger. This causes you to prepare for the worst and possibly makes you worry about all kinds of things. Since you are the only one you have any control over, you will probably start worrying about yourself: Am I making the right decisions? Have I prepared enough? What if I do something weird? How long am I going to drive myself crazy with these thoughts?

Chill out!

Instead of trying to predict the future, try taking a look at the past! How did you handle new situations in the past? How did that turn out? What was your first day of elementary school or high school like? How was the first day at a new job, your first love or your first car? It probably took some time to get used to, but eventually it turned out fine. We tend to underestimate our adaptability. And don’t forget, others will understand how difficult change can be. Don’t be shy to ask a little help if you’re new and still adapting. Everyone will understand you can’t hit a perfect score on your first day. Take some time!

NiceDay

Do you have a big change coming up? Why don’t you try filling in a “Thought record” in the NiceDay app? Describe your worst scenario and see how challenging your thought in step 2 and 3 make you feel.

Do you feel anxious a lot and want to learn how to let go? Have a look at this blog, where Esther explains how you can easily learn to meditate.

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Wouter Schippers

Hey, I am Wouter. I'm a NiceDay coach and psychologist. I like to play football and to make electronic music.

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