Change can be scary and any of us spend a lot of time trying to avoid it at all costs, even if we know change will actually benefit us in the long run. Unfortunately, life is full of uncertainty and shifting options. The world has been especially turbulent recently, so it’s essential to make sure you have all the tools you need to navigate change in your life. Here are few tools to keep in your toolbox for when you feel yourself struggling with everything that’s being thrown at you.
Control The Controllables
When life feels like it’s sliding out of control, it is easy to become fixated on the things over which we have no say. Focusing on these areas where we have no power is draining and can stop you from moving forward. The more freeing choice is to focus on the aspects of your life where you do control the outcome.
Find something in the situation that you can manage and focus your energy and thoughts on that. This will empower you to take control of the changes in your life and to feel some ownership over them.
Be Prepared And Plan Ahead
When life throws you a curveball, it can feel like you have no choice but to react quickly. However, knee jerk reactions to change, are not often good long term choices. So, first of all, take a breath! Once you are in calm space, then is the time to start planning.
Come up with some tangible actions you can take to help you through. Depending on what has happened, this might be in the form of self-care. Or it might be directly related to the changing circumstances in your life. Having a plan can give you a lifeline to cling to, it’s like having a map in the wilderness, it doesn’t stop you getting lost, but it can help you find your way out the other side.
Use And Tend Your Support Network
The biggest tool we all have for dealing with stress and change is the people around us. Your family and friends are there to support you. Don’t fall into the trap of keeping your worries to yourself. You might think that this is a way of protecting your loved ones, but in reality, it’s just hurting yourself. The longer you put off talking to those around you, the worse you will feel and the harder it will be to get back on track. Asking for help is not being a burden. Talking about your worries can give you a fresh perspective and make you feel less alone.
Gratitude is a powerful force. It can improve your health and wellbeing in a wide variety of ways. Adding gratitude into your routine doesn’t have to be hard, and it can have long last effects. So, let’s talk about what we mean by gratitude. Gratitude is about acknowledging the positives in your life. Think of it as a positive affirmation.
Once you have acknowledged the positives in your life, you then take the time to recognise where those positives have come from. This means looking for the goodness that comes into your life from other sources, whatever or whoever they are.
The next obvious question is, how do you ‘practice’ gratitude? Well, it’s pretty easy. You put aside 5 minutes and write about it. It can be in the form of a journal, a letter, an email, even voice notes; it doesn’t matter. You don’t have to send your message; it’s all about writing it. Just 5 minutes a day can have a significant impact on your brain.
Breath And Meditate
Meditation and relaxation breathing techniques can literally alter the way your brain works. Thankful these changes are for the better. The act of meditation and focusing on your breathing and quieting your mind is a little like mental exercise.
There are many different ways to approach meditation. If the idea of sitting with your legs crossed doesn’t appeal, then try other ways of reaching the same state. For example, guided meditation can talk you through the steps. Some techniques involve being active, like doing yoga or even running.
For those who are artistically inclined, drawing and painting can be used to reach the same place of relaxation. It’s worth exploring and finding a meditation technique that works for you because the benefits are long-lasting.
This last one is the hardest and takes some practice. But, if you can learn to relax into the changes that life brings, it will be a lot easy to get on. Obviously, there are some changes that you should resist. Not all change is inevitable or good. However, when you knee jerk panic at any change, it can be exhausting—leaving you unprepared for when you do need to make a stand. Accepting that your life is going to be filled will change is an excellent first step to managing it.