While few things are more certain in life than change, this does not necessarily make dealing with change any easier. When change comes your way, you might need some stress management techniques to help get you through it. In addition, maybe next time you are coping with a life change it will be a bit easier to handle. Often when life turns in a different direction; our mind and thoughts start to fly all over the place, just like the photo indicates.
When this happens we feel out of control, often helpless and start to wonder if we will ever have a clear sense of stability. All of the emotions which follow life changes are less than pleasant, hard to manage them one at a time, and we often want to hide. Hopefully these tips will ease the tension, and help with confronting the issues at hand.
- Let yourself feel the sense of loss, grief, hurt, anger, pain, or other emotions that the life change brings on. It may be a costly mistake in terms of your emotional and even physical health if you stifle your feelings, or tell yourself you “should not” be feeling the things you do. Go ahead and let yourself experience the emotions, and do not judge yourself.
- Do not wallow in those negative emotions, either. While honestly experiencing those feelings is healthy, dwelling on them for a long time (years, perhaps) and allowing them to make you bitter and angry is not optimal. If you need to, seek professional help in letting those feelings go after experiencing them.
- Some people keep a journal on a daily, weekly, or monthly basis. It helps to write down what is going on, and how you are feeling about it. Other individuals find that artwork helps them to get through the emotional difficulties. It allows them to concentrate without thinking on the subject that brings sad or emotional feelings. These creative activities can be helpful, because you have to “feel” the emotions to write, draw, paint, or sculpt; then these feelings become reality and transformed into something tangible.
- Try to see the life change in a positive light. Go ahead and embrace the change rather than trying to hide or run from it. Accept it, and you may find a sense of freedom. It is much easier to let yourself just mourn the loss, the unjustified behavior, or the betrayal. However, it is only in realizing that you are not the problem, but you must be the solution that gets you on your feet to regaining your strength of character.
- It is okay to say “no” to some activities so that you can get some extra rest. Excessive sleeping can be a sign of serious depression, but getting some extra rest during a time of upheaval and change may actually be healthy and help you cope better. One should note that staying in bed too much, and withdrawing from life is not the cure, or the best way to meet the challenge of severe life changes. One must face the issue with courage and determination that things will get back to normal with time.
- Remember that you cannot change another; however, you can change how you look at the human, or situation that has caused the change. You should remember that your identity, your goals, desires, and attitude, is important to focus on during times of change. They are like your anchors. A life change may actually bring on a reassessment of these things, and that can be healthy, too. Maybe you need to face some fears and anxieties you have about change in general. Now is the time to do it.
Things to Avoid
It is also worth noting some not-so-healthy ways of coping with life changes and the stress that may bring. Some destructive coping strategies to avoid include:
- Drinking alcohol
- Spending money on things you do not really need
- Starving yourself
With these tactics in mind, you can help yourself become more tolerant of the change, and willing to learn from it. You will feel less challenged by it, and know that when the next change comes, you will already be stronger, and ready to face it without as much disruption.