Culture Shock: Its Stages, Example, Symptoms, and Prevention

Culture Shock

When you move from place to place, you might be a victim of a phenomenon known as cultural shock. In a general sense, it could be a try to immerse in a culture that is different from one’s own culture. When you shift from a place or experience an unfamiliar lifestyle, you will suffer from culture shock symptoms.

Experiencing different sets of attitudes could also lead to this phenomenon. It could be experienced when you travel, your daily routine fluctuates, or the views of people around you change.

In the current scenario, people suffer through this phenomenon in a wide range. Hence, how to deal with culture shock has been the primary question of the people. To deal with it, you need to know about its stages, examples, symptoms at the initial step.

Here are the significant stages of culture shock:

Culture Shock Stages

Culture Shock
Culture Shock Stages Image Source: elyserobinson.com

1. Honeymoon Stage is known as Initial Euphoria

At first, the culture shock stage begins with the honeymoon stage. When you go to a new place or face new environmental conditions, you will feel annoyed about everything. The things that seem reasonable to people will look a little awkward to you.

Also, in some cases, you will find unusual things funny and will complain about everything. Hence, you will try to find out cultural similarities and feel that you are getting out of your comfort zone initially.

2. Anxiety Stage

The anxiety stage of culture shock does not come alone. It comes with irritation and hostility. When things start being different, you get lost and wish if they remained the same. You will be surprised if you get the Sunday breakfast like your home when you are experiencing a shock.

Therefore, you will face anxiety and irritation with everything around you while you go through this stage. At some times, you can face panic attacks too. 

3. Adjustment Stage

Proceeding to the adjustment stage, your anxiety will slowly settle down. And, you will try to adjust and balance your life in new ways. In this stage, you will know that your life won’t go back to what it was. So, you will try to enjoy forcing yourself.

4. Mastery Stage

The mastery stage comes with self-adjustment procedures. You will find comfort in your new environment in this culture shock stage. Also, you will experience yourself feeling good. However, sometimes you might miss your old habits and get frustrated. But, you will also have your mindset that you cannot change certain things.

Examples of Culture Shock

  1. Clothing Culture shock when you see people around you dressing differently.
  2. Strange customs and celebrations might also give you a different feeling.
  3. Most of the time, food culture can target you when you do not get the type of food you are adapted too.

Culture Shock Symptoms

Culture Shock
Culture Shock Symptoms Image Credit: Slideshare

The shock of culture could result in various culture shock symptoms as it affects people in different ways. While people get affected from one way or the other, the symptoms might be fatal sometimes. Here are some of the primary symptoms.

  1. You might get bored with everything and everyone around you.
  2. Also, you will feel helpless and want to isolate.
  3. A lot of sleep can come through your way as you will feel tired every time.
  4. You will feel constant irritation and frustration, which will lead to anxiety.
  5. The feeling that you want to get back to your past environment will bother you a lot.

Prevention Measures for Culture Shock

Because you know you will suffer from culture shock, you need to get ready with the precaution measures before you get into it. Dealing with it might not be easy, but you need to make an excellent target to overcome so that you will feel comfortable in the new environment.

  1. The first step to deal with it is not to withdraw.
  2. Feel positive about every new people you meet and try to build a friendship.
  3. Also, you can learn to be open-minded. Although this does not come easily, you can take the time to deal with yourself.
  4. The most important aspect of dealing with it is to develop a sense of humor.


In conclusion, you need to build self-awareness to deal with the problem of cultural differences. Also, you should have plans on dealing with culture shock symptoms and not worry about how to deal with culture shock when you feel the attacks.