5 Tips for Managing Anxiety During Transition


changeAccording to psychologist Douglas Eby, one of the primary characteristics of a Highly Sensitive Person (HSP) is the inability to process change. The uncertainty of a new path generates anxiety, sometimes so crippling that the person is unable to move forward on the new path in front of her. I am reminded of that this month as I make the significant transition from a job as a defense contractor–a communications advisor to a cloud computing company, with comfortable benefits– to an unstable gig as a freelance writer crafting pieces of mental health. I am following my heart alright, as it’s racing to catch up with me. Every time I sit down to write a piece, I second guess myself and list all the reasons why I’m unqualified to write articles that will technically be read by a few people.

I have felt this way every time I move through a transition. I would panic at the beginning of every semester in college and call my mom in tears, lamenting that there was no way in hell I would be able to complete all the items on the syllabus, that I may as well drop out. She would remind me that I felt the same way last semester and I ended up with okay grades.
Transition does that to us sensitive types.

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Therese Borchard
I am a writer and chaplain trying to live a simple life in Annapolis, Maryland.

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4 Responses
  1. Thanks for this article – and for interviewing me a while ago about the personality trait of high sensitivity (“Gifts and challenges of being highly sensitive” http://shrd.by/zbO9Yp ). But, a couple of corrections: I am not formally a psychologist; I do have a Master’s degree in psych, but am a mental health and creativity writer, researcher, curator.

    Highly sensitive persons (HSPs) do not, as part of the trait, have an “inability to process change” – although many kinds of life change events are emotional, and, as psychologist Elaine Aron notes, “high sensitivity increases the impact of all emotionally tinged events.” [See my post Sensitive to anxiety http://highlysensitive.org/358/sensitive-to-anxiety/ ] Also, HSPs tend to process more information and take longer than more impetuous people to make decisions and important changes.