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How To Deal with Change: 5 Ways To Cope

Change is inevitable. That’s why finding a way to deal with it and adjust is a better approach than resisting it. If we’ve learned anything over the past few years, it’s that we’re extremely adaptable. Whether it’s experiencing a pandemic, coming in and out of lockdowns, having certain freedoms taken away or making difficult decisions on career, family, health, etc, we’ve had to face an upheaval of ‘normality’. It’s also clear that there are good and bad aspects of change, but regardless, adjusting takes time.

Change can be both expected and unexpected, but regardless of whether the change is good or bad, as human beings we often don’t welcome it. This is in part due to its uncertain and ambiguous nature. We are used to things being a certain way and sometimes this unpredictability can shake up the consistency we like to have in our life i.e. routines, habits and stability.

When things aren’t as they usually are—or our reality suddenly looks different to what it used to—our brains naturally seek out the predictable to reassure our nervous system that we’re safe. It’ll attempt to find ways to manage and feel like we have control over it. Worry can set in when things feel out of our control but often no amount of worry can change what’s taking place. Becoming more familiar with change can help our mind and body soothe itself when unpredicted change does arise.  

So how can you become more familiar with change?

Here are 5 tips for dealing with change when it arises

1. Draw resilience from past experiences

We’re much stronger and resilient than we think, and when faced with uncertainty it can be helpful to think back on the times we’ve been in a similar position. Making a list of times in the past where we experienced a big change or were presented with something unexpected will remind us of how we can cope with the unknown. Drawing strength and insight from previous experiences is proof that we’ve gone through something similar before and have come out the other side.

2. Create a flexible mindset 

Changing our mindset is a key element in facing change head on and embracing what comes with it. We’re much more resilient than we realise and having clarity and focus during difficult or uncertain times is key to moving forward. Our thoughts affect our emotions and our emotions lead to our behaviours. Being mindful of what we’re thinking and feeling, and having a professional to guide us through can be extremely beneficial to improving our thoughts and actions, and making sure we’re working towards peace of mind. 

3. Approach change with gratitude 

When change occurs, a good question to ask is ‘do I have control over it?’. If the answer is ‘no’, it’s then good to see if there’s anything positive that comes with it? Finding the value or seeing the positives that come with change helps us navigate through these uncertain times. There are always positives that come with change regardless of how scary or overwhelming it may seem and having someone to help you seek out the good can set you in the right direction for managing the unpredictable nature of life. 

4. Learn acceptance 

Accepting that we don’t have control over what’s happening gives us our power back. The age old saying, “what you resist, persists,” is extremely true when it comes to facing changes that are out of our control. Accepting what is and reality as it presents itself is the first step towards easing our inner suffering. Resisting the present or wishing it was different continues to loop our thinking and perpetuates a feeling of lack of control and helplessness. Acceptance is the key to taking your own power back and moving towards finding more peace and acceptance with a new reality. 

5. Shift default mode from catastrophising to curiosity 

We’re used to things being a certain way and know what to expect from daily life so when we are faced with something unexpected, we can often fall into thinking it’s for the worst. We see it as a disruption to our sense of certainty and it can be easy to slip into catastrophising a situation. Seeking the help of experienced professionals can assist us in gaining perspective into the situation so we don’t feel overwhelmed. Scoping out the positive things in our lives can also help to see it in proportion, and that our lives are multifaceted with many positive aspects coinciding with our grief or ambiguity.

Change is uncomfortable. It gets us out of our regular routines and patterns, and makes us learn new ways of being. But just because things appear different doesn’t always mean it’s for the worst. It’s about finding the tools that’ll help us grow, transition and adapt through the uncertainty with as much ease and self empowerment as possible. Let’s embrace change. Want to speak to someone about the change that’s happening in your life? Contact our friendly team today.

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