4 ‘Micro-Transitions’ In Your Day That May Be Causing You Anxiety

We all know that huge life modifications ― layoffs, well being occasions, a brand new child ― could cause numerous stress. Nonetheless, there are additionally tiny shifts in our lives (and even our days!) which are usually ignored in relation to nervousness. Maybe you dread mendacity down in mattress for the night time, or possibly the morning rush has you wired.

These are referred to as “micro-transitions,” which consultants outline as smaller moments the place one thing is ending and one other occasion is beginning. These can embrace little factors in your day, just like the aforementioned bedtime, or barely greater occasions, like a trip ending.

“Whether it’s called triggers or micro-triggers, we all certainly have things that set us off,” stated Jeff Temple, a psychologist on the College of Texas Medical Department, who provides that generally even dreading these transitions may be triggering. “There’s anticipatory anxiety, which is anxiety about being anxious, as opposed to actual things to be anxious about.”

Whether or not you’ve been formally identified with nervousness or simply really feel harassed in these moments, there are methods to determine which micro-transitions are hardest for you and techniques for coping.

Listed below are some micro-transitions to be careful for and what to do to counteract them:


Darkish ideas like to indicate their ugly faces at night time, Temple stated, so the solar taking place or comparable evening-related transitions can set off nervousness.

There are a couple of theories on why this occurs. One examine discovered that sleep disruption may be attributable to an incapability to regulate emotionally unfavorable data at night time. Some psychologists blame our caveman-esque brains, which used to scan for hazard earlier than mattress in hunter-gatherer occasions. Moreover, our brains’ lively “negativity bias” ― the place our minds subconsciously deal with dangerous information over excellent news ― may be at play. At night time, we are able to reminisce on numerous unfavorable occasions that occurred through the day.

The Finish Of A Enjoyable Occasion

Maybe you’ve spent weeks making ready to your upcoming trip with household, solely to obsess over your final day as the tip of your journey is approaching.

Temple stated this may be attributable to having a good time and never wanting it to finish, or conversely, having excessive expectations and feeling like no matter occurred wasn’t as enjoyable as you wished it to be.

“So therefore, there’s a sense of dread or let down,” he stated. These feelings can materialize as nervousness that you simply wouldn’t have felt in any other case.

‘Audience’ Transitions

Do you modify how you’re parenting when your accomplice leaves the room and your mother-in-law walks in? Maybe you’re stricter, or extra laid-back.

Both approach, Dr. Whitney Casares, a non-public observe pediatrician and founder and CEO of the Trendy Mamas Membership, stated that an “audience change” could be a micro-transition that causes nervousness. This may additionally present up as “putting on a good face” at a celebration whenever you aren’t up for it, or feeling like you’ll be able to’t be your true self round sure friends.

Conflicting Obligations

In case you have a Zoom name developing, and you realize your child can be waking from a nap on the similar time or {that a} restore particular person is about to reach, you would possibly really feel pulled in two instructions without delay. Or possibly it’s a barely greater situation: Say you’ve dedicated to a distant relative’s wedding ceremony and also you get an invite within the mail to your pal’s wedding ceremony the identical weekend.

Dreading this incapability to steadiness obligations or duties can result in some nervousness round these micro-transitions, Casares defined. Anticipating or worrying about points that will come up could cause your physique to enter fight-or-flight mode.

Justin Paget by way of Getty Photographs

In case your nervousness pops up at particular occasions through the day, spend a while analyzing why earlier than you tackle it.

How To Deal If You Have Anxiety In These Conditions

Step one to dealing with any such nervousness is figuring out the micro-transitions which are triggering to you, which may be simpler stated than accomplished, Temple defined.

“Some of the hardest parts are recognizing your negative thoughts, or your anxious thoughts … it’s really difficult. It’s about being ― I really hate this word ― mindful and reflective, and paying attention to your body and your thoughts,” he stated, suggesting individuals write it down after they understand an “automatic thought” popping up.

These are ideas that we don’t even discover we’re having, like “tonight’s going to suck,” or “I’m not going to be able to sleep tonight because I have to do this tomorrow.” As soon as we are able to acknowledge which ideas are computerized, we are able to problem them, Temple stated.

“That’s when you need to back up, and sit down and think about what just happened and what was going on, so then you can figure out what you were thinking,” he stated. While you do that, you’ll begin to discover a sure time of day, exercise or something in your setting that’s inflicting your nervousness.

As soon as you realize your micro-transition triggers, you’ll be able to work to forestall them. Then you’ll be able to method these transitions in a relaxed state,Temple stated. So if, say, the night is an anxiety-inducing time period, practising sitting down and deep respiration as that point begins can assist.

You also can strive creating a delegated fear time to assist compartmentalize your ideas. This can be particularly helpful in case you really feel nervousness earlier than sleep.

“Spend 10 minutes sometime in the mid-morning, not right before you go to bed, and write down every single thing that you are worried or anxious about. Stay seated for 10 minutes,” Temple stated.

Later within the day, if one thing feels worrisome, validate the thought however transfer it to that fear time. “We’re not saying don’t have that thought, because that’s impossible … we’re saying you’re allowed to think that, you’re allowed to be anxious about that, just not right now. So let’s make a note and we’ll worry about that tomorrow during worry time,” Temple stated.

Lastly, know you aren’t alone in your anxieties, Casares stated. For instance, in situation of a Zoom name whereas your baby is napping, “you could fill a colosseum full of parents who might feel this exact same way,” she stated. By realizing anybody in your scenario is likely to be experiencing the identical feelings, you give your emotions some permission and a few room to breathe.