Stress and anxiety are normal human reactions to what we perceive as threatening situations. They manifest as a mixture of emotions and physical responses. How much we are affected by stress and anxiety depends on factors such as our personality, genetic disposition, earlier trauma, what we believe about ourselves and others, change in our personal circumstances, ongoing challenging situations.
By its very nature, taking up residence in a foreign country confronts us with situations which are new, unusual, and confusing. There may be lots we don’t understand. It’s hard to predict what will happen and we may feel we have little or no control. There can seem to be one challenge after another. Feelings of frustration can arise, even self-doubt, sadness or anger. We may experience physical symptoms linked to stress such as dizziness, abdominal discomfort, tiredness, or feeling generally unwell. Stress and anxiety can gradually infiltrate various areas of our lives until we wonder what on earth is happening to us. This is what we call 'expat anxiety'.
Specialist counseling can help you regain calm and balance in your life and help bring back into focus those strong and positive areas of yourself. In a safe and welcoming setting I can help you reach a better understanding of the meaning of self-care, practice mind-body awareness, explore unhelpful ‘survival mechanisms’ which, like all of us, you may have adopted long ago, and practice new ways of thinking, feeling and acting.
I, too, have experienced expat anxiety and came through it!