What to Do When Positive Changes Freak You Out

There are positive changes for my family in sight on the horizon. A new opportunity, different housing, and (hopefully) an expanded sense of freedom in our day to day lives.

In a word, these changes are good.

But one night, as I was putting the baby down in his crib, it hit me all at once that with these good changes would come other shiftings, ones that weren't as much fun but were necessary.

OMG, I thought in a sudden panic, clutching the baby close in the night-dark room, we're going to have to change our health insurance.

I proceeded to then freak out (like, quietly, because near-sleeping baby).

But about a minute after that, after putting the baby down and slipping out of his bedroom, I started to giggle at myself.

Because a) a great new job opportunity certainly warranted enduring an change of insurance, and b) changing from one decent coverage plan to another is not exactly the end of the world. More annoying than anything else.

But my brain and/or that primitive, survival-oriented part of my being would have me believe that this shift was cataclysmic, that everything should stay exactly it is in order to avoid the change of insurance . . . even if current conditions are less ideal than the future conditions that come packaged with said change of insurance.

So, what to do when you're in the midst of a positive change in your life, like starting a great new job, or opening an art shop online, or trying to get pregnant, or joining a gym . . . and out of no where you find yourself freaking the hell out?

Consider trying the following:

Breathe . . . and don't do anything else. Don't rush to turn down that job offer, or cancel your gym membership. Just hold as steady as you can, and breathe deep. Like, a lot.

Consider what it is that you're actually worried about . . . or not worried about. Get out your journal and free-write, or go for a walk and ponder. Is it your animal brain worried about risks, even ones that seem like pretty sure things? Are you afraid of the success that may come from your positive life change?

Accept the uncomfortable. Change, even good, expected, celebrated change, can still be scary. Understand that it's not the wrong move if some discomfort is involved. In fact, that may actually be a sign that you're on the right track.

Be amused. As a friend of mine would say . . . be amused at the inner workings of your mind. Some of its mechanisms are great, and others are a little more rusty or complicated. If you know that this change is right for you at this time, breathe through it, attempt to understand it, accept its discomfort . . . and smile. It's going to be okay.

Have you ever had this happen -- where you're flying high on some fabulous new changes, only to be knocked sideways by unexpected anxiety or general "what the hell am I doing?" freakouts? How did you navigate it, either successfully or not? I invite you to share what you're thinking in the comments below. I'd love to know!

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