Fear of change is so prevalent, there’s even a phobia about it: metathesiophobia.
Everyone experiences fear of change noted Dr. Susan Biali in Psychology Today. Change, even positive change, always causes stress. The problem occurs when fear of change causes inertia.
Causes of a debilitating fear of change may include:
- Life changes that cause emotional distress
- Fear of meeting new people
- Fear of changes in one’s environment/circumstance
- Fear of failure
- Overprotective parents
- Fear that the past repeats itself
Fear of change can cause changes in our behavior and thought processes that can negatively affect our lives. Metathesiophobia can cause:
- Fear of the unknown stops us from making changes in our lives
- Self-doubt may prevent us from trying something new or stepping out of our comfort zone
- Inability to make decisions
- Failure to consider options
- Defining identity by external things
- Dependence on possessions
How we deal with change is what determines our success.
7 strategies to integrate change into our lives are:
- Do your research because we fear what we don’t know
- Embrace, rather than avoid, change
- Take a break
- Sleep on it
- Develop a routine to make change part of our normal lives
- Get away from our daily lives
The older we get, the more likely we are to fear change. Part of the reason, scientists believe, is that the longer something — people, institutions, organizations, even artwork — exists, the more likely it is that people will view it positively. Another reason is older adults are more likely to have experienced the circumstances that lead to fear of change. Older brains are less malleable.
Children adjust better to change because they don’t have as much “legacy material” to change, noted Roger S. Gil, a relationship and family therapist.
How do you help your parent overcome the fear of change?
- Learn the symptoms of stress so you’ll know how to combat them.
- Take small steps. Make small changes first.
- Build trust. Build trust with your parent so she’ll trust you when you introduce elements of change into her life.
- Use calming techniques, such as playing her favorite music and physical contact.
- Show them change can be fun. Introduce her to enjoyable new experiences.
- Speak positively. Turn negatives into positives.
- Back off and give them time to adjust.
What our Happy Families Say About The Arbors
My mother in-law did not want to move from Her home. After two weeks at The Arbors she has acclimated well. She is happy to See us but not sad when we leave. The staff has been great and the other residents are good company for her. She is busy all day long and sleeps well at night. We all sleep well at night too