Anxiety, PTSD, SPD and Trauma: Learning to Accept Change (+4 Tips)
March 24, 2023
I usually see the same hygienist at the dentist. Because when it comes to getting my teeth cleaned, I get a lot of anxiety. Not only do I have sensory processing disorder and PTSD, but I’ve had issues with my teeth my entire life. Where even just getting them cleaned can be triggering. So the other day when I went to the dentist, and they told me another hygienist would be cleaning my teeth, I immediately felt the flood of anxiety wash over me. And I started to cry.
I thought of leaving. Of saying “no, I can’t do this.” And coming back when my usual hygienist was available to clean my teeth. But I’d driven 40 minutes to get there, so I decided to stick it out. To accept the change.
Accepting change can be very counterintuitive. Change is important for growth, but after you’ve suffered a trauma, keeping things the same can feel safe. Which means that doing things differently feels unsafe.
It’s a concept that I’ve had to work hard on during my trauma recovery. To feel safe in the change. In the newness. The foreign land. And not only to feel safe, but to embrace it. Run with it. And let it become part of who I am.
So if you’re like me and you struggle to accept change, here are some tips for embracing it:
- Acknowledge the change. You can do this by journaling about it, talking about it or both. But make sure to note that there’s a change you have to accept.
- Journal about how the change makes you feel. Write about everything the change brings up for you. Journal every day. Even if it’s only for five minutes. And remember, you can type or do voice text into your phone for journaling too.
- Move. Change might even feel physically uncomfortable. Seriously. Sometimes change throws my nervous system off so much that my skin actually hurts. When this happens, I find that movement helps me regulate my body in order to accept the change.
- See an energy healer. It can be acupuncture or Reiki or whatever energy healing you find useful, but seeing someone trained in energy healing can help you accept the way change feels in your body. Thus helping you embrace the change.
However you accept change, strive to make it a peaceful process. And grow stronger with change every day.
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Photo by Ross Findon on Unsplash