Whether you’re experiencing change as you transition from college to the real world, switching career paths, or dealing with something unexpected in life, here are some ways you can deal with change efficiently and positively.
1. Acknowledge the change
Don’t brush things under the rug. That’s a surefire way to go into denial and live in a false reality. Acknowledge the change head on and accept it. It’s important to look at change in the face and take it for what it is, no matter how raw the feeling may be—it’s an important first step!
2. Look at the situation optimistically
It’s always much simpler to see how change will negatively impact your life—and often times, that’s the first thing people think about. But there’s no use dwelling on the negative; therefore, think the opposite.
Make a list of all the great things that will come from the change you’re facing and how you, or the people around you, will benefit from it. Make a list of the short and long term positives this change will bring about in your life and remind yourself of them whenever you need to.
3. Don’t stress out about stressing out
Stanford psychologist Kelly McGonigal argues in her book, The Upside of Stress, that your reaction to stress has a greater impact on your health and success than the stress itself. This may be easier said than done, but you owe it to yourself to not worry about being or feeling worried. If feelings of stress or uneasiness come about, deal with it accordingly. But don’t put your mind and body in overload by anticipating the anxiety, which can make things worse.
4. Analyze your values as opposed to your fears
When any type of change, big or small, comes about and puts you through a whirlwind, it can be scary. But don’t let the fear of how the change will affect you paralyze your every thought.
Instead, parallel your fears alongside your values. What’s important to you and why do you do what you do? You’ll find that your values will override your fears and the change won’t seem so intimidating after you relate it to the bigger picture of things.
5. Share your thoughts with others
No one should ever have to go through difficult times of change alone. So reach out to your family and friends! Talk to them about your thoughts and emotions, and allow them to be at the threshold of any support you may need. It’s also helpful to talk to others in your situation who can reassure you that they came out of the other side of the tunnel just fine, and you will too.
6. Be flexible and embrace change
Life is one intense roller coaster ride. There are no guarantees that what you plan tomorrow will actually follow through. Which is the beauty of it all. Because we’ll all experience some type of change during our time here on earth, it’s important to remember that these changes shape us on an individual, economic, social, and communal level. So be flexible and go with the flow. Change is the tide that leads us from the past and carries us into a better future.
So make the best of it and remember that you’re a valuable part of this world, which will always be in constant flux.