Heraclitus, a Greek philosopher, once said that the only constant thing is change. True enough, changes in life occur all the time, especially in this fast-paced world we all live in. Many are small, incremental changes that we barely notice but others can be life-changing events - such as getting married, getting divorced, having a new baby, a death in the family, and a change of job or job location. Some are happy changes, and some are not quite so happy. When these larger, negative changes come about, it’s easy to become anxious about the effects that they may have on your life.
But as uncomfortable as some changes may be, and no matter how much we might want to resist them, it’s important to learn how to manage change. Here are some life skills that will help you when big changes happen in your life.
When we become anxious because of an upcoming change, we tend to set aside our well-being because all we can think about are the consequences of the change. But when you are faced with the dilemma of a big change in your life, you must take care of yourself. Eat well and eat on time. Get enough rest and exercise. When your body is healthy, your mind is healthy too, which will help you to handle that change better. Try not to worry about the change – you are strong and whatever it is, you can and will get through it.
When you know a change is coming, apply your critical thinking skills. Think of things that you can do, even before the change happens so the transition won’t be as difficult as you initially thought it would be. Identify the best approaches to deal with the upcoming change and list them down. Start taking actions from your list, depending on the pace of change. In other words, take full control of your life.
If you know that a change is coming, keep an open mind and accept that it will happen, because many changes that happen in life are beyond our control. First, accept the fact that the change is beyond your control, then accept the change. View it as an opportunity for you to learn something new, instead of thinking about it as a setback in your life. Fake it if you must in the beginning until it becomes real.
The skill to think positively amidst negative situations is critical. Remember there is a bright side to every situation and whilst it may be a challenge to stay positive when changes happen, doing so will help you manage things a lot better. A common example is if you’re moving to a different location for reasons such as a change of job. The change may make you feel negative, stressed or concerned about the thought of leaving your family and friends behind. But look at the positive side – this is a great opportunity to meet new people and gain more friends. That will help you to look forward to the change rather than being anxious about it.
Knowing that change is an inevitable part of your life will help you to manage your expectations accordingly. Remain flexible so you can more easily adapt to those changes as and when they occur. While most of us find it hard to get out of our comfort zone, it is key to being able to accept changes as they come and just roll with them.
Changes can disrupt your usual routine, but the more changes that are happening, the more you should stick to your schedule as much as you can. Manage your tasks appropriately so the changes don’t disrupt your usual flow of life. For example, if one of your daily routines is to exercise in the morning, continue doing so. This will remind you that although there are changes, some things remain the same.
Whatever changes you’re going through or will be going through, learn how to face them because changes will always happen, no matter how much you just want them to go away.
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