Change can be challenging, scary and difficult. Not too many of us like change all that much, most of us prefer to stay in our comfort zones, with what is familiar and seemingly safe, rather than venture forth into the unknown.
The one thing we know for sure about change, is that it is the only thing that never changes. We will always have to deal with change of one sort or another, so we might as well learn how to deal with it well.
The Chinese character for change can be translated as “danger or opportunity.” In other words, depending on how we respond to a situation determines whether it has a positive or a negative impact upon us.
Here are five ideas on how to improve your relationship to change:
1. Take care of yourself throughout the transitional phase; eat well, get enough sleep and rest, exercise in moderation. Try following a relaxation recording before sleep at night; it will help you alleviate the stress of the change, which may manifest as tension in muscles, or a tightly clenched jaw, for example.
2. Honor your grief. Although change may very often be of the positive variety, it will nonetheless entail a loss of some sort. A move may mean saying goodbye to old friends and co-workers; organizational change may mean kissing goodbye to the old, familiar ways of doing things. Notice your feelings of sadness, and be aware that they are a normal part of the change process. Be kind to yourself and allow yourself time to grieve, even as you embrace the new.
3. Keep a positive attitude. Picture the outcome of the change you want as successful, and the transitional phase as smooth, flowing, and easy. Visualize in detail the way you want the change to go, and how you will feel in an ideal state throughout the change process. Think of win-win solutions, with everybody happy with the outcome.
4. Be detached. Know that nothing lasts forever. Your regular routine is only temporary. With changes in cyber space and in real time happening ever more rapidly, you can rest assured in the knowledge that things will not remain the same. Practice resting amongst the chaos, and make the inevitability of change your new normal. If you can develop a “witnessing” mind, you will be able to observe the process without getting too emotionally invested in it. Rather than thinking of things happening to you, think of things as just happening, and your role as being a responder to what is.
5. Breathe. Breathe in. Breathe out. Slow your breath down. Breathe deeply into your lower belly. Exhale all the air out. Breathe in aga
in deeply into the lower belly. As you do this, focus your mind on each breath. Your heart rate will start to slow. You will start to relax. Any racing thoughts will start to dissipate and you will start to feel calm, centered and grounded. From this place, and with this attitude, any change is easier to navigate.
Change is here to stay, and in the grand scheme of things, it is the one thing we can be certain of. Life is essentially all about change.
Nothing remains static, or stagnant. Life is dynamic, it is flow, it is moving, and it is magnificent: just like a river.
When you can embrace the flow, dance with the flow, respond to it and not hang on too tightly, your journey will be so much easier and enjoyable. Struggle and you may drown. Stay connected to your breath, stay positive, take care of you, relax, and know that “This too shall pass.”