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Change is an ongoing process that is healthy and natural. This does not mean it will be comfortable to experience. The frustration and anxiety that result from significant change are normal reactions. Dealing with your emotional and physical responses to change requires a take-charge attitude that will empower you to effectively manage the changes you experience.
How We Perceive Change
The perceptions and emotions we experience during major changes will help us to adapt to our rapidly changing world. As we review our responses to change, we can often identify times when we were in transition and handled situations in a positive and healthy way. It may have been difficult, but we were able to grow, and to move forward. Think about and identify what strategies or solutions you have used in the past that could assist you again in moving forward through each new transition.
The Role of Feelings
The most powerful feelings you may experience when change is on the horizon are fear and anger. Both of these emotions tend to surface when we feel threatened. Fear is often a reaction to the unknown. It leads to a variety of feelings including resentment, depression, embarrassment, uneasiness, and resistance. Anger is our most common reaction when demands are placed upon us and we believe we have no choices or alternatives. To deal with these feelings we must accept that change is inevitable, search for positive solutions, and then move on.
Self Talk & Change
Be aware of the words you associate with change. Remember the importance of self-talk and how crucial it is to weathering change successfully. What you tell yourself about the situation determines how you will experience it. It is easy to fall into telling ourselves negative things about difficult experiences. Instead of being negative, learn new and effective coping skills to develop a positive approach to change.
Change is a problem only when you believe you cannot handle it. The key to responsible change is to choose realistic goals, and then adapt to the new circumstances one day at a time. Choose small goals that can be achieved in a short time, and have alternatives ready in case unexpected developments occur. By accepting the need for change and taking action in a focused and solution-oriented manner, you will gradually become stronger and happier, as you live a productive and enjoyable life.