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Five things to consider when adapting to change

“The only thing that is constant is change” – Heraclitus (Greek philosopher).

Change is an essential part of how we evolve and develop our personality and sense of self. Yet, change can be scary.

Here are five ways to look at change in a different way.

What does adapting to change mean?

If you think about how your life has changed over the years, a number of things will naturally be different. From visible changes to how you look (hairstyle, hair colour, fashion sense) to where you live, who you love and what job you do. Change happens all the time. Learning to adapt to change can help to make life a little easier as we’re more able to cope and look at the positives.

Change is in essence a shift in an external event or situation. If something comes to an end, there is also a new beginning to look forward to. For example, a change of career, a house move or the end of a relationship – these changes will each lead to new experiences. 

Transition is an internal process we go through when dealing with change. It’s how we come to terms with what’s happened. Transition is the psychological process that happens within us in response to the change. 

Why adapting to change is important

Change is important for our personal development. Your self-confidence and resilience increase as you learn and grow through changes and periods of transition in your life.

Even though it can be a tough ask at times, it’s important to think positively around change. Being ready and able to adapt to change is incredibly beneficial for our health and well-being. We’re able to see the situation more clearly and this reduces unnecessary stress and worries. We’re also more open to new opportunities, new experiences and new beginnings when we embrace change.

Why is adapting to change difficult?

Change might be happening all around us but that doesn’t make it any less scary at times. Uncertainties and apprehension can crowd out any optimism about the possibilities that might emerge from a change in our lives. People can be uncomfortable with change and this can lead to resistance.

It’s common to have a fear of the unknown and this uncertainty can cause feelings of anxiousness about what lies ahead. It can also be difficult when we have little or no control about an impending change. For example, if we’re moved to a new role or department at work. It may be best for our employer but it may not be something we particularly want to happen. Having a mindset where you view change as a positive -even in the smallest of ways –can help you to cope in times of uncertainty. 

How to cope with change

A good way to deal with the unknown of a changing situation is to think through possible outcomes. It’ll help you to acknowledge what’s happening while allowing you to work through all the thoughts that are swirling around in your mind. What would be your best-case scenario? Now think about what could be your worst. This life hack can help you to gain perspective and adapt to what’s going on.

Another useful tip is to think back to when you were faced with a sizeable change and remind yourself how you coped. What positive actions helped you to be resilient then?

By focusing on positive behaviours and taking time out to pause and relax, you can reduce the impact that stress has on your physical and emotional health. It’s easy to forget to take care of yourself during pressured times. Try to make time for regular meals and take on plenty of water.

Developing a daily routine that includes getting active can be a wonderful well-being routine. Exercise is also a great stress reliever. Taking a break to go out for a short brisk walk will really make a difference. 

Having a good support network of friends and family is important too as they can often help you to see things in a different light. Having a giggle is great for keeping stress in check so make time to relax and unwind too.

Benefits of adapting to change

It’s helpful to imagine change as though you are turning the page in your favourite book. You’re closing one chapter and beginning another one. Change brings with it something new and that’s exciting.

Change can trigger progress and move things forward and this can be a big positive for our personal growth. Change can lead us to new routines, new opportunities and new beginnings. As we grow and learn, change can also be the catalyst that causes us to reassess our values, beliefs and goals in life.

Being able to adapt to change helps us to be more robust and see the positive in challenging scenarios.

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