Wait a minute! Never mind how!
“WHY should I deal with change?” might be the better question to start with!
And the answer is …. because change is coming.
Change is always coming.
And whether you look forward to a change or dread it, change triggers powerful effects in your body and your emotions (sometimes called “stress!”). You can increase your sense of control and steer your life into positive territory when you know how to deal with change.
So, nix the go-with-the-flow attitude. That just sets you up for a lifetime of stress, anxiety, pain, and fear.
Coping? Not enough. As long as you are just coping, your have limited choices. You feel trapped and victimized. Cocooned and isolated, you miss out on many opportunities.
Maybe you’d rather fight the change. Fueled by anger and frustration, you sap your strength and find yourself lonely and, once again, victimized.
Before learning these 7 tips for how to deal with change ….
Adjust your thinking
I’m going to give you seven tips on how to deal with change, but first, I’m asking you to change your thinking. The 7 tips work best when you make these adjustments.
- Approach dealing with change as a process. Dealing with change is not like an electric switch that is either on or off. It is like baking bread. There are many steps and ingredients. Both baking bread and dealing with change take time.
- Reframe the way you think about change. Choose to give positive meaning to life changes. Even if you’ve never moved your furniture, you still have the hair style you wore in High School, and you always the same lunch, you CAN thrive on change.
- Breathe and be flexible. Prepare to move with the changes because they are going to happen. No one’s life is free of change. And you wouldn’t like it if it WAS!
Easier said than done? Maybe.
But when you consciously choose to think this way, you experience a positive difference in how you deal with change.
7 Tips for How to Deal with Change
Ready for more joy and a greater sense of well-being and fulfillment? Follow the tips below.
- Learn to relax (more). Deep breathing works for many people. Exercise helps most of us to relax. Choose the way that works best for you. Relaxation allows you to deal well with change.
- Choose your thoughts and attitudes about each change.Negative thoughts block your creativity and problem-solving abilities. Positive thoughts build bridges to possibilities and opportunities. Keep a record of the choices you make in your thoughts and attitudes.
- Adopt an attitude of anticipation, and be grateful. Welcome change as an opportunity. Find the benefit somewhere in the change. There is always a benefit and an opportunity. Start by keeping a written record for 3 days. Every day, note 3 things, large or small, that you are grateful for. You will notice a more powerful attitude of anticipation growing (hey! that might be a nice change!).
- Figure out when to accept and when to reject the change.Have you heard the serenity prayer? (Go ahead and click the link if you need to refresh your memory. The link will open in a new page so this page will still be here when you are done.) Reflect on what you are accepting, what you are rejecting, and what you are doing something about. You will be amazed at how effective your choices are.
- Face your feelings about the change, especially when the change is imposed and beyond your control. Get past “Why me?” “But I don’t want to!” and “It isn’t fair!” Figure out what your fears or worries are. That takes work. You don’t have to be a victim, even when you are not in control of the change. Write about your feelings.
- Simply notice that you are in the midst of change and that change is a part of you. This might seem like a no-brainer, but it takes some practice to become aware of change instead of subconsciously denying it. Don’t try to run and hide. If you have a journal, write about changes you notice.
- Set smart goals so you can consciously guide the change. Smart goal setting helps you decide how to make the change happen and to recognize your successes. Write out your goals and your plans to meet them. See this additional page for more on smart goal setting. The link opens in a new page so you can get right back here easily because there’s more about dealing with change.
There’s one more really important tip….
Communicate with supportive people who can help you deal with stress.
In the workplace, change is inevitable. Many people will look toward a workplace leader for help in coping with these changes. For a more in depth look at these tips, as well as a number of other leadership skills, consider an organizational leadership masters degree and become a more effective leader today.
Family and friends also provide important help to figure out how to deal with change. Talk to them, and listen. But you may need more focused help. Writing things down in a journal focuses your attention and clarifies your thoughts, leading to healthy decision making and greater life balance.
Writing about your internal processes in a regular and focused way is called journaling (not talking about keeping a log of your daily activities!)
An interesting thing about writing in a journal . . . You begin to respect yourself as one of the key supportive people in your own life.