“Change is the only constant in life.”
For many people, change often brings a sense of uncertainty. However, in life we know that in order for anything to grow, it must go through the process of change. Obviously, not all change is negative change, and not all change is thrilling.
As the ill-favored caterpillar sheds its skin, hangs upside down from a twig, and transforms its body to become a vibrant, conspicuous, triumphant, butterfly, humans also experience a comparable metamorphosis in life.
No matter what phase, experience or journey we are encountering in life, it is important that we understand that change is inevitable.
Whether your changes are planned, hoped for or uninvited, it may be helpful to have some strategies to assist in coping with the changes you may be faced with in your lifetime.
Here are a few strategies to consider while on your journey:
- Understand that seasons change: with the changing seasons, may come burdens, victories and triumphs. Be ready, but if you’re not ready, remind yourself that in most cases humans are able to adapt. When we are not able to adapt(mentally), it is usually due to cognitive distortions, which may include catastrophizing, or focusing on the worst possible outcome.
- Rather than focusing on the outcome, try focusing on being present. Even when the present moment may feel disturbing, or uncomfortable, allowing yourself to be there, where you are, experiencing what IS currently happening, is likely to lead you to processing the situation fully in that moment, rather than weeks, months or years later. It may also be helpful in gaining a full understanding of what is happening at the moment.
- Practice radical acceptance: When things don’t go the way we want them to, many of us try to fight the situation. We look for alternate realities, or we may begin to utilize behaviors that are self-destructive, or the use of destructive behaviors towards others. Practicing radical acceptance entails things such as, accepting the reality of the situation and doing what we can do, which might influence us in leaving the situation or changing our response to it. Also, remember that just because the situation is difficult, it doesn’t mean we have to like it in order to accept it. If we choose not to accept the change or reality, we may be inadvertently choosing to suffer.
- We all know the term “go with the flow”, this is relevant when thinking about the changes that life brings. Positive or negative, going with the flow of things can lead us to peaceful waters
- Talk to a therapist: Talking to someone can help you gain a clearer view of your situation. Many therapist utilize Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) techniques to assist individuals in developing a clearer understanding of how their perceptions of a situation may be impacting their emotions and responses. Utilizing CBT strategies can be helpful, follow the link to gain a better understanding of CBT and how it works: https://youtu.be/q6aAQgXauQw
“If you resist change, you resist life.”
By, Ashley Vazquez, EAP Counselor, MFT