Change comes as sure as the seasons do. And with it comes bouts of worry, thrashes of anxiety, sleepless nights of never-ending thoughts.
Some of us deal with change better than others, already readily equipped with healthy mindsets and coping mechanisms. Though, the rest of us (myself included) don’t fare too well with change.
Whether it’s the introduction of a brand new environment or the sudden demise of a friendship, change just brings too much unknown and uncertainty. We lose control over the situation, even our thoughts and feelings, bringing around fears we never knew we had.
So what can you do if you’re worried about change?
I’ve got three solutions for you that hopefully make change a little easier to overcome.
Quite frankly easier said than done.
And when it comes to accepting bad emotions, it rarely ever feels good to think about them much less accept them. Often enough, we tend to shun emotions – it’s easier than dealing with them, the bad thoughts go away, and we never have to deal with them again.
Until we have to. Science shows that it’s not quite possible to get rid of a certain emotion entirely, and the reason being: emotions are good. They exist for a reason and they’re supposed to aid us through our navigation of life.
Acceptance of our emotions and the situation is a way to relinquish the control we think we have over certain circumstances. Evaluate credibly how much control you have over the situation, and if you realise that you have none – simply let it be.
2. Change your mindset
If you can’t change the situation, change your perspective.
Meet Jane. She’s anxious and stressed about the recent changes happening around the world, largely the seemingly nonexistent end of our pandemic woes. Every day, she’s unable to stop herself from checking news sites and social media platforms, obsessed with keeping herself updated. As a result, she is plagued with sleepless nights, afraid of confiding in her peers, and is wracked with feelings of hopelessness.
One way to change your perspective is called cognitive reframing. This method targets your thoughts, imploring you to stop the thought before you get the change to act on it.
Back to Jane. Instead of allowing herself to believe that she has any control over the pandemic, she should take a moment to step back from the situation and ask herself: Do I really have any control over the pandemic? Am I focusing only on the bad news and not the good?
By dissecting her thoughts and gathering credible evidence (rather than basing her conclusions on emotional reasoning), Jane might be able to find the good she wasn’t able to before and grant herself some peace.
3. Talk about it
To a close friend, to a journal, to a pet dog – verbalising or writing is a scientifically proven way to release emotional pain.
They’re also good ways to gain perspective of the situation and encourage healing. When we give words to our thoughts and emotions, we allow ourselves to make sense of the intangibility of things. This then reduces our tendency to react based off our emotions, making space instead for mindful introspection.
With these three solutions, one or two might work better in making change less daunting than it needs to be. Leave a comment and let me know if you’ve got any methods to cope with change.
Stay safe out there.