Most of us realize that change is a natural part of life, and an inevitable one at that. Even with that knowledge, sometimes it is hard to accept changes that are “happening to us”. Whether good or bad, changes that feel to be outside of our control can be unnerving and give us stress or anxiety. Regardless of big or small, we all have various levels of tolerance for change in our lives and can become frustrated by it. While this initial reaction and be typical, how we manage through this change can make a huge impact on our health and happiness.
To work through change that we are struggling with, we must first emotionally detach from what we think is good or bad. Often the changes in our lives that we think are “bad” propel us into a direction that will ultimately bring incredible happiness. In fact, if you look back into your life, most changes that seemed bad at the time often brought greater gifts than we could imagine. Sometimes we lose a job and feel devastated but are then inspired to chase our dreams. A relationship may have ended sooner than we were ready for it to, but then we find our true love shortly after. We may have had an injury that caused great pain only to lead us down a path of understanding our bodies and taking better care of ourselves. Regardless of how bad these things may feel in the moment, looking for the gift within them allows the change to feel much more manageable and makes us much more resilient.
In addition to not judging the changes that are coming with a label, it is also helpful to really look at what we have done to cause the change. Even when things feel outside of our control, they often are a result of choices we have made up until that point or they are leading us towards something that we truly desire. The key here is to not blame ourselves but see how we can learn from this experience. The lessons that we learn from changes are always at the exact right time for our spiritual growth and we often have caused them without even realizing it. Even the small changes in life can have a ripple effect that we don’t anticipate. Taking time to reflect on this, even while we are in the midst of the change, will help in making it feel less frustrating.
Creating a new level of flexibility in your life to accept small changes can also be helpful in managing through the larger changes in life. This can be done by changing your daily routines or entering into situations that may be uncomfortable for you. Try a new food, travel to somewhere you have never been or give a new hobby a chance. We truly grow through uncomfortable situations so creating that opportunity in your life can be greatly helpful in preparing for times with the uncomfortable comes to us. While these things are small, they make us more comfortable with the uncomfortable, this will help us adapt to the larger changes in life.
Taking time to reflect and process the change past our initial emotional reaction is critical. Next time there is a change coming into your life ask yourself these questions to help navigate your way to a happy acceptance:
- What gifts will come from this change in my life?
- What am I learning about myself through this change?
- What choices did I make that may have lead to this change?
- How is this change bringing me closer to what I really want?