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Change: Why You Hate It, It’s Link To Anxiety, and What You Can Do…




I know, gross right.

Just the word can have people running for the hills.

Change is that thing that stirs fear, worry and concern, and has people believing that it’s not possible, not needed, and certainly not liked.

People can be very passionate about it – or rather, passionate about not going through it.

For change is often associated with, and can induce, anxiety.

Of course, if someone were able to adopt change then many different (and good?) experiences could be had.

In fact, arguably, that’s the purpose of Change in a nutshell – to alter someone’s current experiences.

And when you think about it, who wants to stay the same, especially if ‘the same’ = experiencing the many symptoms of anxiety available on today’s menu.

Change, is Anxieties nemesis.

But anxieties grip is so fierce, so bullyingly bullish, it refuses to let us let go.


So, nothing happens and we stay the same.

You may not like where you are, but there’s this underlying voice that’s telling you not to do anything about it.

There’s this feeling that your feet are cast in concrete, weighing you to the spot.

And worst of all there’s your mind coming up with every brilliant reason not to make waves. “Don’t change” your mind pleads, in that very voice it knows you can’t, and won’t, give in to.

How well your mind knows you.


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In order to let Change and Anxiety wage a war without you being the centrepiece, first we need to know the complexities and intricacies of anxiety a little better.


Anxiety is an enormously nuanced concern.

A disorder that can manifest in a variety of ways, anxiety can cause a range of uncomfortable and unwanted symptoms.
The list of these symptoms is exhaustive, and experiencing even one of them can be exhausting too.

Generally, though, anxiety tends to fall into four main categories: physical, emotional, cognitive, and behavioural.

  • Physical Symptoms: Think of that heart-pounding moment in a thriller, except you’re just trying to make it through a normal day. Your heart races, your palms get sweaty, and your stomach turns over like a washing machine on a spin cycle. These are feelings associated with the physical symptoms of anxiety.


  • Emotional Symptoms: Anxiety is the party crasher to your emotional world, often leaving you feeling like you’re constantly hanging on the shaky edge of your seat, left feeling overwhelmed, and with no joy cards left up the sleeve.


  • Cognitive Symptoms: Cognition is our thinking; our ability to use our brains in a logical, considered manner. A lack in this area can mean we overthink situations, ruminate over and over and over, and we can find it hard to get on with everyday life. Stuff just seems so hard to work out with little flexibility in our thinking.


  • Behavioural Changes: Ever find yourself mapping out escape routes in a café? That’s anxiety turning you into a reluctant strategist, making all attempts possible to avoid potential scenarios where anxiety might decide to hit the accelerator pedal without invitation. It’s your Worse Case Scenario planner when it’s off the leash.


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Now, we’re being broad here, as I’m sure most people know, anxiety is very personal too. So how it affects you may not affect other people, and vice versa. But the feelings can be very similar from person to person.

But if you are experiencing one or more of these symptoms right now, then some kind of self-care may well take the edge off the day and allow you to move forward just that little bit more easily.


Key Areas For Significant Progress

In my own personal and professional experience, there are some key areas to achieve significant gains.

Those best actions that have often seen the greatest impact and positive benefits with someone’s mental health are when people begin to focus a little less on the search for ‘how did I get here’, or even ‘what will help’, and look a little more towards ‘how best can I help myself’.

The three key areas for improvement with regard to ‘how best’, are;

  1. being persistent
  2. staying consistent
  3. the allowance of time: patience

There is no one ‘fix all wonder thing’ that’s going to leapfrog anyone from A to Z in a flash, as much as someone might sell you this, or announce that ‘that’s how it worked for me’.

There is a caveat here however, and that is that doing something once can begin to get you from A to B.

And this is a fundamental factor in improvement.

Something done. However small. Is progress.

Be persistent with that small step, keep working on what works, and in time, things will change.


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Self Care  – Making a start…

Here’ some things you can do right now at no or low cost:



some, but crucially, not too much!

All anxiety is biologically grounded in the fight or flight response – it’s your brain’s way of readying your body to run, or ruck.

So go release some of that pent-up energy that is coursing around the body. It’ll bring the levels down to baseline (although granted, this takes considerably longer than it took to get there). But go too hard and the body starts pumping more oxygen around the system, adrenaline kicks cortisol into action and you’ll rise up instead of settling down.


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BREATHE (and rest):

Yep, I know, stupid comment Nick, “I’m already breathing…”

But you’re probably breathing rapidly (that fight/flight once again getting the heart pumping like crazy).

Take a huuuuuge in breath, then allow it to leave on its own.

Let your body sigh, and slump.

Go again.

And again.

You don’t need to count the seconds or whistle any namaste blah blah. Just breathe in, and let go.

Regulating your breathing helps. It really does.

And regulating breathing often (think yoga nidra, meditation, self-hypnosis), can be a big help when done in the way you feel works best for you and, over time, this breathing stuff can begin to have a big impact on your fight/flight response; your nervous system.

When you begin to regulate your breathing in a way that’s a little more calming, consider stretching out these moments to a few minutes, or more. Breathe calmly, rest a little, and recuperate.


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When in panic, temperature is up. Get it down. Quick.

Just beware again, not TOO cold, for this can create a sense of shock and guess what, our old friend (foe?) Fight/Flight is back in the wings again a-whooping and a-hollering for more.

Drinking cold(ish) drinks, showering in cold(ish) water, or dunking your face (safely, obviously) in cold(ish) water can all help bring down your body temperature and can assist in regaining a balanced state of internal climate.

This one is more for when you’re feeling that unwanted rush of adrenaline and things need to come down sooner rather than later.



Brains like to be challenged…

Learning engages parts of the brain that can simply feed your feelings with feel-good emotions.

Lots of mini-challenges can create lots of mini-changes and can offer someone manageable, achievable steps of progress.

With that, someone can experience a ‘sense of flow’ – that feeling of being absorbed into something where everything else just simply fades away for a time – and also a sense of achievement, through the effort to improve, and the dopaminergic effect of moving towards a goal.

Learning, is growth. Growth, is change.


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There’s a stack of others out there, and success, whatever that is for each person, IS possible.

And that’s another one…



Countless times I’ve seem clients improve just by making the call and arriving at a session.

This is self-care at its finest – the research, the want, the dogged effort when everything in your body is telling you to give up; to not change.

THIS is a key factor, regardless of ‘finding the right thing’.

THIS, is the first step towards your preferred outcomes.

This is Intention in Action.

And Intention is solid start point.

But the gold medal is knowing that motivation comes after the first step.


The Longer Term

In the longer term, it would be wise to start looking at how life would look if things were better.

It would be good to look at creating…CHANGE.


It’s an ugly word for most.

But change, at the right pace, in the right way, can reap significant improvements in your thinking, your doing, your communicating, and the experience of emotions and feelings.


There’s a simple reason you hate change – your brain, believe it or not, is always looking out for you, for your welfare. Now admittedly this might not always feel nice, but its primary reasoning is survival. It needs you to stay alive (we’re kind of useless without this bit).

If you’re alive your brain has done its primary job and other stuff can occur beyond.

And if you’re alive, then change is NOT what the brain wants.

THE SAME is what it wants.


That’s it.

Your own brain doesn’t want you to change.

But you have an override button.

Once you’re safe, and sound, (or maybe you were never really in any real danger?), then you can regain intellectual control.

And when you do, you can start to understand that Change = progress. Change = learning. Change = growth.


When you begin to Adapt, and Adopt new and improved ways of being, in time, the symptoms of anxiety will begin to dissipate and a calmer, more focused, and in-control life start to take shape.



🌐 Resources

NHS – Help for Panic and Anxiety

How to Create Positive Change that Actually Lasts

WebMD – How to deal with change

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