Coping with Change

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Coping with change is never easy. Most of us resist it because we are comfortable and secure in our world as we know it. Whether you look forward to change or dread it, change triggers powerful effects in your body and your emotions.

Dealing with change can be stressful and even painful. When it occurs, some people experience frustration, depression and anxiety—that’s normal.

To cope with these feelings, here are a few simple tips you can follow to manage the change.

  • Acknowledge the change. The most important thing to do when change is happening is to acknowledge it. Recognizing and accepting change is one of the first steps towards managing it. Many changes bring a mix of positive and negative effects, so it can be expected that you can benefit from some aspects of the change while also being challenged by other aspects.
  • Face your fears. When you fear change, take some time out for yourself. Writing down these fears in an objective form can help you to keep from dwelling on them. Go through each fear and write down what you would do if that fear actually occurred. Knowing you have a backup plan can really help to defuse the emotional anxiety.
  • Confront your feelings and seek support. Face your feelings about fear and the transition you are going through, especially when the change is imposed and beyond your control. Sometimes others can help you to recognize factors about your circumstance that you are not able to see. Having another person’s perspective can help to clarify your thoughts on the situation and offer you creative ways of coping.
  • Be flexible and embracing of change. Instead of hiding from your fear and creating defenses to keep it away from you, be open and flexible to taking on new challenges and tasks.
  • Be part of the change. Adopt an attitude of anticipation and excitement. Welcome change as an opportunity. Get involved in the community or your workplace. Be an influencer and driver of change. That way you will feel empowered and less fearful. See the positive in the way forward.
  • Communication. Communication is always important, especially when you face change. Resistance to change is often fueled by fear of the unknown. Don’t sit back. Talk to someone for support and guidance.
  • Reduce Stress and anxiety. In times of stress caused by change we may feel tired and unmotivated. This is the time we need to focus on being strong, fit, healthy and resilient. To be resilient you need to remain calm and in control so that you are able to make good, clear and rational decisions.

The bottom line is, change is inevitable, so you’ll need to overcome your fear or resistance of it. Although frightening and disruptive, with the right attitude, outlook and actions, you can find opportunities for personal growth in any change.

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