Change is a phenomenon no one can avoid. Whether we talk about societies, communities, businesses, families or individual persons at any age groups, we all face small and bigger changes somewhere at some point of time. Or, you could say that the only thing remaining constant nowadays is the change itself – we know changes are taking place all the time.
So, how do you deal with a change then? Of course, it depends on the starting point. Did you expect or even wish a change happened or did it come unexpectedly? Was the nature of change from your perspective more positive or negative? The starting point impacts on how you position yourself mentally in the beginning of the change. While it can be hard to “think positively” especially in case big dramatic changes, the way you deal with the next steps of your change process is critical. Being aware of such mental positioning and associated emotions offers you an opportunity: while you cannot control everything in your changing environment, you have a power to choose how you think and act yourself which in turn has a major impact on how you go through the change in question.
Also, many times multiple changes happen at the same time and you may feel “this is too much for me” and start getting stressed consciously or unconsciously. Let me share some of my learnings during the last six months’ time when I was facing major changes both in my work and private life. What helped me really was paying attention to my emotions and enjoying small moments. I recognized in early phase of the change process that there were certain things to let go and I accepted my emotions. If you stick to the past (“what was or has been”), it’s like you were trying to drive forward your car just by looking at the rear view mirror. Equally, you can deal better with your emotions if you first accept them as they are and then release them away. The emotional awareness helped me to free up energy for planning future and taking needed actions. The second method I used was to enjoy small moments even much more when time was scarce and which I continue to apply today. Such small moments have been e.g. a cup of fresh coffee on the morning when starting my work and really enjoying the smell and taste of the coffee, or when relaxing on the sofa with candle light and deeply enjoying the possibility to sit down and just be fully relaxed for a moment. The third method and probably with the biggest impact has been the checking of my perspective when feeling stressed and which actually helped me to change back to positive thinking. To give you an example: when I was feeling quite overwhelmed by all the things I needed to accomplish in my work and at the same time also in my studies, I looked at the other side of the coin and saw my work extremely interesting and my studies offering different types of ideas I can apply anywhere. Thereafter, instead of feeling overwhelmed I have felt grateful for the fact there is so much interesting going on in my life with enormous opportunities to learn and enjoy all new experiences. Also, instead of cutting corners, this time I paid attention on my physical wellbeing by allowing enough sleeping as both my mind and body needed more time for “recovery” during the change process.
What’s the first thing coming to your mind when you hear a word “change”? How do you deal on the emotional level with changes going on in your life? Is there a possibility to change a perspective and see those changes, no matter how difficult they are, offering some new opportunities as well?