My in-box is flooded with recruiting emails for new jobs, new improved body, new hair, new lifestyle – “ALL ABOARD THE CHANGE TRAIN!”. Many of you will be helping your children to make the change from primary school to secondary school, or supporting your grown up child as they start a new job, after years of study. Some of you may be adjusting to a new year without beloved mothers, fathers or friends.
Change, is a fact of life and according to the Buddhist teachings, one of the few things in life that is constant.
Here are some tips that might help you to cope with change:
1. Think of change in terms of a process – a series of consecutive events rather one big scary thing – it’s much easier for the brain to cope with.
2. If the change is major (death, divorce, moving house, new job) write down all of the anxieties you are worried about..
3. On the same piece of paper, write down some solutions to each anxiety, they can be simple things like, do online research, go to the doctor, talk to a friend you trust. Write down in detail what is worrying you and come back to this after a few days to see if the same things are on the list. A few days away from a problem can change your perspective on it
4. Break the big change into smaller ‘changlets’ on a large sheet of paper. If the change is a new job, each ‘changlet’ could be something like ‘managing new technology’ ‘understanding a new boss’ ‘becoming a line manager’. Deal with each changlet separately and over time the magnitude of the major change will have diminished into smaller, hopefully more manageable issues you can pick off.
5. If the change is creating a high level of instability or turbulence in your life, you may need to make ‘one small step’ towards dealing with the BIG problem. If the change is a family bereavement or loss of income due to divorce or redundancy, that ‘one small step’ might be deciding to seek professional help. It’s a simple phone call, but sometimes dealing with a big change of circumstance, can create in you a kind of inertia – you feel like a rabbit in the headlights. But taking that one small step can be the equivalent of taking a huge gulp of air after holding your nose under water for a very long time. A huge relief.
Taking the step towards the next phase in your life can be scary, a step into the unknown. But remember this: every other human being shares this same anxiety, the same powerlessness against change, the same fears as you, take comfort in our shared situation. We are social beings and we can help each other on our unique journey of life.
S0 – Step out, breath deeply and EMBRACE the changes that await you with courage, love and immense positivity!