He didn’t mind the change of helping his elderly father until he found out it was dementia.
She didn’t mind the new changes in her husband until she found out he was having an affair.
He didn’t mind changing his duties at work until realized he was being let go.
She didn’t mind trying to do it all by being the fantastic wife, mother, and employee, until it took a toll on her health.
She didn’t mind trying to take care of things financially until she saw her bank account and her credit cards.
Most of us aren’t thrilled about it. Many of us fear it. And even if it’s a good thing, down the road, we still don’t want to deal with it. It’s too much energy. And most of that energy comes from dread and fear of the unknown.
In life we can handle the little changes. We can handle if someone forgets to put our fries in the bag. We can handle if it starts to rain outside. We can handle it if we need to reschedule a drink with friends.
It’s the big things that shake us. It’s the big changes that come to us as a giant bee swarm of change with hundreds of little changes buzzing with a fierceness that leaves us numb and paralyzed in our fear. We wait for the stinging to occur. We don’t know how long the stinging will last or how much it will hurt. In a word, it sucks. The fear of the change sucks away our sense of security, our emotional wellbeing and our power to act on our behalf.
But we aren’t powerless. We can do something different. We can lean in another direction and start to forge a new path.
Here are the Four Ways to Take the Sting Out of Change
- Acknowledge Where You Are in THIS MOMENT.
When a major life change comes to you, it doesn’t matter if it was expected or not, it’s still a blow. Before you try to run away from it or run into the situation with random solutions, it’s vital to your sense of being to understand how you are reacting or responding. By labeling your sensations or feelings, you become more than the emotion. You have a bigger picture of where your emotional state is. This gives your intuition the information it needs to respond effectively in your moment of change. This also lets you differentiate what you can change and what is not in your control.
- Create Routines or Rituals
When you are faced with a major change, the initial shock is the biggest sting. To gain a sense of footing, do something that will bring you some groundedness. For some people, it’s going for a run or walking the dog. For others, it’s cleaning their house or going to pray or mediate. And yes, some people eat, drink or shop their feelings. And while there is a momentary payoff, it’s not sustainable long term for your peace of mind. Find the thing that helps you in your daily life that you can also use when the big changes come your way.
- Connect with Others
When major life events happen like loss of loved one, loss of a job, loss of a relationship or an illness, surround yourself with others who support you. In the good times of life, make it a habit to nurture friendships and family. It takes time and energy but these are the people you need in your time of crisis. This is also the time to be prudent with people you bring in your inner circle because at your most vunerable, you don’t want to engage with toxic folks who could leave you feeling even worse.
- Take Care of Your Needs
Taking care of your needs before a major change happens will greatly benefit you down the road. Change is inevitable. Learn to anticipate it. You can either react or respond to it. Make some time to think about how would you respond if…
A loved one became sick?
If you became sick?
If you lost your job?
If the relationship didn’t work out?
If you had to move?
If you needed more money?
By contemplating these scenarios, you aren’t attracting these events, but how you could respond to them and who could support you emotionally. If you have no idea how you would respond to these events or don’t have people to support you, then think of this as a time to cultivate those relationships and knowledge you may need to promote that wellbeing and peace of mind.
Use all these ways on a daily basis not just when a big life change comes your way. Soon you will create awareness to not fear change but to respond as it buzzes around you. And if you do encounter big life changes, you will be able to experience less of the sting and more of the honey that comes with life’s biggest changes. Namaste.