Throughout your life, change will be inevitable. Some changes can be positive, while at other times, they can be difficult to embrace. The way you approach situations can reduce your stress and anxiety as well as help you bounce back quicker and stronger.
Recognize the Stages
Career changes, growing families, aging or unexpected circumstances can trigger feelings similar to the grieving process. Sadness, anxiety and even anger are typical emotions that you may feel during periods of change. Initially, you may try to avoid facing it or even pretend that nothing has happened. You may feel vulnerable and want to regain control or affect the outcome. Whatever you are feeling, it’s important to acknowledge where you’re at and that there is no right or wrong way to get through change. There are, however, some coping mechanisms that are healthier than others.
Focus on Yourself and What You Want
It’s hard to avoid being affected by uncertainty, as well as the actions of others. Even when change is unexpected, taking stock and thinking about the future can help you diffuse the intensity of your emotions and reactions. Consider what you can contribute to achieve the best possible outcome. Be sure to nourish your body and soul too by eating well, exercising and getting enough sleep.
Resisting change only makes it harder. Being open to adapting helps you avoid some of the stress associated with transitions. Ask yourself, “What am I going to lose if I don’t change?” and “How can I make this work?” What skills do you have that you can apply to the new situation or environment? Once you are able to answer those questions and identify the costs and benefits, you can start to move forward.
Change Your Perspective
Perspective is the window through which you view life, situations and other people. Even in the midst of challenging times, keeping an optimistic viewpoint is possible and can help you move forward. To change the way you are looking at things, you need to change your emotional and mental inputs. Find sources of positive influence such as books, blogs and podcasts that help you to see the whole picture and find the good in change.
Build Your Resiliency
The people that are best able to deal with change in their lives believe in their ability to adapt. Resiliency is about “bouncing back” from life’s challenges, and the ability to adjust to situations around you, especially in the face of adversity, trauma, tragedy, threats or stress. It’s recognizing that your strengths can help you endure and that you have the capability to approach life’s challenges head-on. Ultimately, resilience is the ability to overcome challenges in your life while becoming a more powerful individual. The Resiliency Toolkit at American Fidelity's EAP provides a variety of resources to help you cope with change.