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5 things that make it difficult to adapt to immigration

Elizaveta Lubleva

Doctor of Psychology


America, "the land of the free and the home of the brave." What does this mean for a particular person?

The process of adaptation and integration into a new society affects many areas of human life. This process “reveals” all our psychological characteristics and habits to react to events in one way or another.

Фото: Depositphotos

Freedom and concern are two sides of the same coin

Freedom means openness, flexibility and willingness to change for the sake of higher human values. Freedom is our ability to shape and create ourselves. The ability to become who we really are. This freedom is essentially an internal state, which gives a sense of independence and the ability to choose.

The paradox is that when a person feels free, he begins to experience great anxiety. That is why most people do not like to make their own choices. They would prefer that someone else or society do it for them. We resist change, because change is a loss, even when it is in our interests.

People with a high level of anxiety prefer predictable and familiar actions. Familiar procedures and procedures reduce anxiety. When people feel threatened and anxious, they become tougher and more doubtful. A person suddenly seeks to use long-established rules and opinions, in return, he loses his vitality. Such people use traditional values ​​to build a psychological defense and hide behind it. But such actions lead to inevitable consequences. Using a particular point of view on any event happening to you limits your openness and flexibility. In his book, Escape from Freedom, Erich Fromm argued that anxiety causes many people to seek security and authority during periods of social change.

Pause = Freedom

The feeling of freedom is the ability to instantly stop in the face of stimuli coming from many directions, and in this pause, choose the best answer for us. The suspension is important for the process of repelling aggression directed in our direction. The pause instantly pauses our automatic response, and our responses no longer blindly follow the stimulus (for example, how we respond when making an important decision; agree to an offer). Pause also creates feelings of restlessness and anxiety. Many people flee from silence because of the tension it creates. They are constantly looking for a noisy company, trying to join the community, endlessly interacting with the phone. These behaviors are obstacles to a complete sense of freedom, detachment from outside influences, and do not allow us to find that our anxiety is exaggerated.

Another common way to eliminate anxiety is alcohol and hard drugs. Drinking to avoid anxiety puts a person on a treadmill: the next day, when anxiety increases, the desire to drink also increases. Excessive use of alcohol and drugs destroys our freedom to imagine, reflect and look for other opportunities that would help us cope with anxiety. In this way, we avoid anxiety by giving up our freedom.

People suffering from anxiety and psychological fears (for example, social anxiety) spend most of their lives avoiding new experiences in order to avoid anxiety.

To regain your freedom or seek help, you need to have a certain amount of determination. Courage is the basis of choice. Making your own choice in the face of pressing anxiety is a psychological attitude to action. Courage is the power to overcome unhelpful habits. For example, when a person actively begins to attend additional language courses, he overcomes his fears of being judged, fear of dialogue with a native speaker, fear of speaking, and so on.

Фото: Depositphotos

How to move from fear to real freedom?

Step 1: Unconscious fear of uncertainty

This means that I remain in my comfort zone and avoid obscurity at all costs. For example, I will endlessly complain about the unfriendliness of employers, rather than having overcome myself, I will go and try to get a job. What I do not know seems dangerous, but I do not realize how destructive the feeling of insecurity is for me at the moment. I never come into contact with the unknown to experience it. I will not take up any business until I am sure of the result. I spend a lot of energy and strength to avoid risks.

Motto: “Better to be safe than sorry.”

Your actions. Start analyzing how your tendency to cling to certainty limits your freedom. Ask yourself: “How well does this formula work for me? Is staying in my comfort zone really a protection? ”

Step 2: Awareness of uncertainty.

What I do not know seems dangerous, but I realize that fear leads me. Situations of uncertainty make me anxious, restless, and fearful. It makes me avoid uncertain situations and try to control my world. But although I prefer confidence, I know how my feelings keep me from experiencing new things. I resist the unknown, but I understand that it is difficult to start something new if I always want to be confident in the future.

Motto: "The only thing that really exists is uncertainty."

Your actions. Be careful with yourself, understanding how your thoughts limit your possibilities. Do not blame yourself for resisting the new, the unknown. The good news is that you have already recognized your fears. From this point you consciously and naturally move on to the level of 3.

Step 3: Doubt everything.

I do not know how dangerous the unknown is for me. What I do not know is bothering me, but I do not resist change. The unknown does not frighten me, but I am not looking for him. I feel freedom, which is related to my uncertainty, so I am curious, but careful. I admit that my fear of the unknown will teach me.

Motto: "I am interested in everything new, but ...".

Your actions. Stay open Be inquisitive. Resist the urge to create artificial confidence that alleviates any discomfort. If you invest too much in artificially created confidence, you will probably make many mistakes in the implementation of your plans. Live in a state of uncertainty and do your best to find the right solutions and calm yourself.

Stage 4: Elimination of uncertainty.

Not only am I not afraid of uncertainty, but it attracts me. I understand that there is something more than I know and can do, and the only way to find out is to penetrate into the unknown and explore it. For me, the unknown is not scary, but tempting. I prefer to explore what accompanies the discovery process. I risk doing reckless acts because uncertainty seduces me. I want to explore everything so much that I do not always listen to my intuition. I am ready to be an adventurer, and I remember that there could be danger behind uncertainty.

Motto: "The opposite side of uncertainty is opportunity."

Your actions. The key at this stage is recognition. A situation with many unknowns may seem too attractive, and then there will be a desire to act blindly, but real problems may follow. He who feels no fear in the face of the unknown risks being reckless. Meaningful actions in this phase will bring closer to uncertainty not with fear, but with the integrity of the soul and the guidance of your intuition.

Step 5: Surrender.

I do not know the result, but I still believe in a happy outcome. I am not afraid of the unknown, and I am not tempted. I try new and follow intuition. I feel that there is a principle of organization that I may never understand, but I believe that it is safe to act in this direction. Good things can happen to me when I come across the unknown. Bad events can happen too. But no matter what comes next, I believe that I act in harmony with the universe and that in any result there is a meaning and a lesson. I am open to new experiences, and I value freedom more than certainty.

Motto: "The only way to experience life is to surrender to the unknown."

Your actions. Enjoy the process! If you are afraid in the face of the unknown, remind yourself that you believe in the invisible forces that guide you, even if these mechanisms are not clear to you. Do not look back!

Traveling through these five levels can be non-linear. You can jump from one stage to another. Since we often treat uncertainty more comfortably in some areas of our life than others, we cannot be on the same level in all aspects of our life. For example, you can be on the 4 stage in your professional life and on 2 in a relationship with a partner. Do not judge yourself based on where you are. There is no “right” or “wrong” phase, and you have to trust time and yourself.

Be careful and compassionate to yourself when you go from fear to faith. Trust the process, and know that wherever you are, you are in the right place.

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I wish good luck to everyone!

Your consultant in the world of psychology Dr.Liza

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