“Just as a snake sheds its skin we must shed our past over and over again” Buddha
Change is a natural and inevitable part of life. We see it every day all around us. Everything is in a constant state of growth and movement. But how do we deal with changes in our own life? Do we find it hard to accept? Do we fight against it and just want things to stay as they are? Does the thought of change leave us feeling stressed, helpless or unsafe?
You’re not alone if you feel this way. Many people struggle to come to terms with change. We get used to certain patterns in our lives and can be thrown off balance when faced with a new reality. We may feel our lives are following a predictable course, with our relationships, family, friends and careers all on track. But relationships can end, family members may leave, friendships can break down and our careers may change course. The wider world around us is also in constant flux with political and social changes. These can trigger fear or anxiety and may leave us feeling anxious or resigned.
So how can we cope when our lives take an unexpected or unwelcome turn? It can be challenging but I believe there are some helpful ways of responding that can empower us and enable us to move forward in our life.
1. Learn to accept the necessity for change
Though most of us like stability, life itself is fueled by change. Look back on your own life and consider where you would be if you hadn't been able to grow and develop. You may lose some things in this process, but you will also gain new ones.
2. Understand that change can reawaken us
Sometimes we can become so comfortable with the familiar that we can be blind to opportunities around us. Change can force us to look around and see what options exist. We may find this puts us on a new and rewarding path in life that we may otherwise have missed.
3. Slow down
It is often said that life is about the journey and not the destination. However sometimes we become so fixated on achieving an end result that any deviation from our plans can be hard to tolerate. This can cause us to lose touch with what really matters. By slowing down and focusing on our feelings and needs in the present moment we can identify whether our goals are based on what will really fulfill us. If we truly want something, then we will find our way to it despite the challenges we face.
4. Give yourself time to adjust
It may take some time to get used to new situations. It's healthy to express feelings about what has happened. Allowing time to do this can help us truly let go of what has been lost and free us to move on with our lives.
5. Reconnect with who we really are
If we are defining or valuing ourselves based on career, relationships, appearance etc. it's easy to see how change in any of these areas could be scary. When we lose touch with our inner selves it can be tempting to hold tight to things and people around who may serve to anchor us. Its important to take the time to reflect on who we truly are and to reconnect with this inner self. There are many ways of doing this such as meditation, counselling, yoga or indeed anything that invites reflection on our physical, mental and emotional well-being.
6. Realise that we have choices
Although we can't prevent change we can choose how we react to it. Recognise that we are empowered in almost any situation to decide how we will respond to the challenges we face.
I believe that learning to embrace change can be helpful in reducing our levels of worry and anxiety. Challenging the way we respond to uncertainty can allow us to live in a freer and more fulfilling way.
Have a great week,
Portlaoise, Co. laois.
Newbridge, Co. Kildare.