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Change is the Only Constant - Heraclitus

April 12, 2016

Life is full of ups and downs and can be very unpredictable.  These life transitions, simply put, are periods of change.  Periods of change are life’s way of asking us to re-examine our present way of being and decide how we are going to adapt.  No matter what type of change you are experiencing, it can be difficult to make changes to our existing lifestyle.  Even positive change like a new job, a new relationship, marriage, sending your child to school or college, a new baby, buying a home or moving can create stress, worry, discomfort, or sadness.  Everyone can use a helping hand when dealing with negative change like the loss of a job, a breakup, loss of a loved one, divorce, receiving a life altering medical or psychological diagnosis, financial instability, caring for sick or aging parents, or unexpected travel or relocation. 

 

I can help you in your time of need.   Sharing the experience of your life transition with another person can prove to be incredibly helpful in coping with fear, doubt, panic, or uncertainty.  It is common to feel alone and unsupported when life has you down.  It can be difficult to find friends and family that will listen to you without criticizing or offering unsolicited advice.  Coming to therapy can be a great way to help you take stock of your life and move forward into the new chapter that has been opened up for you with less pain and resistance. 

 

TIPS FOR DEALING WITH CHANGE

 

1. Notice Change
Seems simple, but we often go through life experiencing change without taking the time to notice it.  It takes practice to notice.  What comes more naturally is to unconsciously deny it.

 

2. Consider If You Will Accept Or Reject This Change 

You are not necessarily powerless to change in your life.  You can choose to accept or reject change.  When you make a conscious decision, you’ll be amazed by how much more effective you are.

 

3. Learn To Relax Through Periods Of Change
Once you’ve decided what to do with change, it’s time to tell your body it doesn’t have to keep reminding you that it doesn’t like it.  Deep breathing, exercise, and meditation or relaxation can help calm the mind and body during periods of change.  With a calm mind and body, you’ll be able to make clear and reasonable decisions.

 

4. Communicate With Supportive People
Utilize the support network around you.  Talking about the experience of change can significantly reduce your stress and the power it has over you.

 

5. Cope In Positive Ways
The stress of change can be intense.  Find ways to cope that add value to your life and your situation.  Avoid drinking, smoking and drugs to deal with stress.  More positive methods of coping might be journaling, exercise, going to therapy, talking to friends/family, art, or cooking.  Be kind to yourself and your body will be kind to you by being readily available to self soothe and mange stress to the best of its ability.

 

TIPS FOR CREATING CHANGE IN YOUR LIFE

 

1. Change Your Routine
You have the power to make choices in your life.  If you are unhappy with your routine, do something different.  You don’t have to reinvent the wheel.  Making even a very small change can make a big difference over time.  An example might be drinking one extra glass of water a day or having one cup less coffee a day.

 

2. Examine Your Life’s Path
“You need to know where you are before you can get to where you want to be” holds a lot of truth.  It is much more difficult to move forward when you aren’t really sure where you’ve started.  Taking the time to examine your life’s path helps to create realistic choices for lasting change.

 

3. Get Out Of Your Comfort Zone
Any change will require some discomfort.  Being aware of the discomfort and understanding it can be helpful in coping with change.  Creating lasting change requires some initial discomfort because it will be different from what you are used to doing.  Make small moves out of your comfort zone and eventually you’ll find yourself miles away from your starting point.  An example might be inviting someone to have lunch with you or calling a friend even if you don’t feel like it.

 

4. Live In The Present Moment
Being present in the moment is a way to tolerate change and avoid the worry about what may have happened in the past and what might happen in the future.  When our minds are clouded by worry and anxiety about past and future, we are typically unable to stay present and make good choices toward the life we want to live.

 

5. Be Positive
Making changes in your life is not easy.  You may experience very slow movement toward your goal or even experience failures because you are inexperienced in your new desired behaviors.  Stay positive.  Everyone makes change in their own way.  Don’t get discouraged.  Try to avoid comparing your situation to that of other people.  If you keep trying and stay positive; things will eventually change.

 

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