Change: Six Ways to Decrease the Stress

Posted by on Jan 8, 2013 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

As I began to think about change as a topic for this post, I realized that often our reaction to change mirrors the reaction to the grieving process.  Change can be frightening, and disruptive. However, with the right attitude and actions, you can find opportunities in that change.Change has always been part of our lives. What is different now however, is the pace of change, and the projections for the future are that it will come faster and faster, affecting every part of life. The age in which we live is changing so fast that we often feel we do not have time to adjust before more change takes place. Change can be defined as any planned or unplanned alteration in the status quo of an organism, situation or process.  We are all experiencing this so this post may be helpful as we work through the change process.  While my first bit of advice is take a deep breath here are some other suggestions that may make the process easier and decrease the impact of the speed of change with are facing.

1)Recognition

Recognize that change does happen. We have all heard this before and we often just laugh or snicker at the statement.  Denying that change is or will be occurring, and continuing to live in the past only makes things more difficult. The more we understand that change will happen, the less upset and surprised we will be when we encounter that change.

2)  Be Aware

Be aware of your surroundings. Recognizing that change happens allows you to plan for the impact. It’s even better, to recognize when change might be occurring in your own specific situation. Just like wandering in a new neighborhood in order to stay safe “Know your Surroundings” so goes the advice when faced with change. Take inventory of what is happening around you and in your environment.

3) Know the Stages

Since reactions to change resemble those of the grieving process it is helpful to recognize the stages.  The early stages include shock and denial; refusing to believe what has happened and instead believing everything will be all right and return to the way they were. Guilt and anger may also be part of the early stages; we may find ourselves blaming ourselves or others for the change.  Later, one passes through the stages of acceptance; acknowledging what has happened and moving on.  This is not necessarily a linear process and all the stages don’t necessarily occur and different amounts of time may be involved with the different stages. The faster you get to the acceptance and moving on stages, the better it will be for you.

4) Increase Communication

Communication is always important, but especially so when you are facing change. A lack of communications from and with others can have a negative impact, while effective communication can have a positive one.  Don’t just sit back and wait for things to happen. If the change you are experiencing is at work talk to someone in management to get their understanding. If the change is in your personal life talk to a trusted friend or family member.  Realize that sometimes we make assumptions about the changes we are experiencing and rather than creating more anxiety it is better to ask for clarification.

Part of the fear of change involves dealing with the unknown. If possible, try to minimize this factor by talking to others who have undergone such a change. What difficulties did they experience and how did they deal with them? How can you adapt their experiences to your own situation?

5) Be flexible

Change requires flexibility. The better able you are to adapt to change, the greater your chances of being successful.

6) Be positive

Be positive in actions and attitude.  Keeping a positive attitude can help you deal with the uncertainties of change. Instead of worrying about changes, focus instead on how you can leverage your existing skills and experience to make the most of the situation.

 

Change is a constant in everyone’s life. The skills needed to meet various needs will change throughout all stages of life.  Every challenging situation brings the chance to grow wiser and more skillful. Somewhere, someone has successfully dealt with the same situation so ask for help. Even circumstances that seem most devastating carry within them new opportunities. Those who search for new opportunities will find them.

One of the most essential life skills you can have is the ability to adapt to change. An adaptive individual is one who is able to refocus in new directions and make choices based on your desired outcomes. Changing our patterns and behaviors is frustrating and annoying and takes us out of our comfort zone. But developing the skills necessary to adapt to change can have powerful outcomes; including self‐improvement, ongoing learning, and a higher level of personal and work achievement.

 

“The bamboo that bends is stronger than the oak that resists. “ ~Japanese Proverb

Lisa Mead

Email:                    inspiringtransitions@cox.net

Twitter:                @lmeadinspireme

 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *