dealing with change; life changes; life changing events

Accepting Change: how to manage shifts in your life

Sometimes change can come at surprising times in our lives. It can be the loss of a job, a promotion, a change in residence, children leaving home or a birth. Many things can bring about change but the way we feel about it isn’t too different when it comes to modifications of our routine.

Humans are creatures of habit, even those of us who think we don’t have a routine, still fall into certain patterns of behaviour that form a routine, no matter how unconventional it is. We draw comfort from this, a sense of safety and when this is disrupted, we might react in unpredictable ways.

How to manage change?

First of all, when change happens, take a moment to assess your feelings. Don’t panic, breathe deeply and take enough time to figure out how you feel about what is to come. You can of course move about and physically do what needs to be done, but allow yourself to be quiet within, give your emotions time to adapt to what is new. Conserve emotional energy by dispersing rage and feelings of anger physically with exercise. Meditation helps immensely and will keep your emotions in check.

Do not undertake meaningless tasks in order to avoid dealing with the present. Change is normal, it happens all around us and before we are ready to accept it, we need time. Keeping your mind busy is delaying the inevitable and leads to anxiety and stress.

Learn to accept change by observing carefully what is happening around you, keep a calm mind and write down all tasks you must accomplish in order to bring stability back into your life. This will restore a sense of control as things are planned and organised.

If you don’t know how to react to these new changes in your life, just relax. Try looking at it from a different perspective, with an open mind. We don’t know everything and unexpected changes aren’t always a bad thing, they can be the breath of fresh air in a tired routine or an extra piece of wisdom.

Adjust your expectations, plan for the future but don’t count on it as a certainty or dream about what may be. Live in the present. This might seem bleak but until you are certain of your circumstances, events and people surrounding your life, this will help you avoid future traps and depression when things don’t work out the way you expected them to. Instead, just work on things as they happen, adapt to change but don’t envision what might come of it.

Better yourself. Even dreadful, change is an opportunity for improvement, so aim high, do something positive. Try to see the positive aspects in things you’d consider setbacks and build from there.

Take care of yourself through the process. Although what is happening around you might be scary, a lot is happening to you as well. In order to keep pushing forward you mustn’t neglect yourself, so make sure you eat and sleep properly.

Look forward to the future and embrace change. Remember that our experiences make us stronger, they build us but do not make us who we are.  Accept what life brings you, good or bad, you have the power to overcome it, to make the best of it and to help those around you face these periods of adjustment.

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