Anxiety is a normal psycho-physical activation in response of a real or perceived danger. This response is characterized by an increase in alertness and attention, with the purpose of prepare us to face the danger.

Anxiety is physiological when it prepares us to deal in an adaptive way with a tough situation, but it becomes dysfunctional when it interferes with our performance and if it’s associated with neutral events.

Major life transitions, such a geographical move, a new job, or a new school can generate a severe amount of anxiety, which tends to arise in situations where there are many unknown factors. Indeed, for expats, there are frequently many unknowns… just think of not knowing what a new home will be like, whether it will be easy to make new friends, or if the kids will adjust to their new schools. 

In the pre-departure period, you could run into the fear of the unknown, the insecurity of not being able to manage everything and the doubt of having made the right decision. You can face some difficulties even when you arrive at your destination: you may encounter problems such as loneliness, conflicts at work or in the couple, difficulties to adjust to the new cultural context, fear of the future, stress and dissatisfaction.

Act promptly on these aspects could avoid to experiment dysfunctional anxiety, which could interfere with the person's daily functioning.

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