Change can be a daunting prospect, and many of us aren't sure how to deal with it. Here's some excellent tips on how to face change head-on.
Although sometimes change can seem overwhelming, it can also be exciting and refreshing. Knowing how to deal with it is key.
Acknowledge your feelings
It doesn’t matter what your reaction to change is, it's important that you ackowledge how you feel internally about it. Your emotions and feelings are part of what makes you, you. Listening to them is a crucial step in accepting changes in your life.
Denying how you’re feeling or denying that things are changing can cause more stress. Accepting things are changing will allow you to prepare and adapt successfully.
Useful tip: Here’s a TED Talk about how emotions and feelings influence our lives.
Be the instigator
Don’t let change boss you around. It’s going to happen, but it can be on your own terms. By understanding how you feel about upcoming change, you can own it and be the agent of it, rather than simply a bystander who gets swept up in it.
Some of this comes with being prepared for what’s ahead. Think about what some of the big hurdles might be and come up with a plan for dealing with them. Of course, some things are out of your control. Even in these situations, you can take back the initiative by figuring out how you’ll rise to meet the challenges.
Useful tip: Come up with a list of positives that may come from the change. It will help you understand what you hope to achieve from the new circumstances.
See change as an opportunity
Change may seem like it’s going to turn your life upside down, but that doesn’t necessarily have to be an entirely bad thing. It can be an opportunity for you to try new things and make positive changes to your life.
By embracing change and throwing yourself into your new situation, you'll be able to look towards the positives that will come out of it.
Useful tip: Learn to reward yourself for trying new things Give yourself a treat after every challenging piece of work you complete, or indulge in something you love after trying out a new hobby.
Look forward and back
When big changes are taking place, they can sometimes take up all of your thinking (and worrying) power. Not only does this distract you from other important things in life, but it can also create a cycle of anxiety.
Try to look past this time and focus on what you want life to be like after it passes. Imagine yourself thriving after the change happens. Similarly, look back at other times you’ve overcome changes in your life. They’ve made you who you are today.
Useful tip: Keep a journal of your thoughts. It can help you think rationally about your worries and gives you a future reference for how to deal with change.
It’s easy to bottle your emotions up in times of change. You may want to avoid dealing with upcoming situations. However, this isn’t always the best strategy. Turn to friends and/or family to help you deal with change. You’ll find that many people have gone through big changes before and can give advice and support. Even if they just listen to your concerns, it can be enough to help you organise your thoughts.
Useful tip: If you’re struggling and have no one to talk to, you can find a list of support services for the UK and US.