Change is hard but necessary because without change, we would never grow and learn. As necessary as it is, though, change can be immensely challenging—even more so when change is unexpected and/or unwanted. Change can be a challenge, but with these tips and tricks, you’ll be able to navigate through the trying waters of change with expert precision.
Accept the emotions
Acceptance is a tricky topic, but one worth talking about. The ability to rise above something and accept it is in all of us. Sometimes, the ability to accept something is hindered and dependent on the situation; other times, it depends on you.
Whatever your reaction to the change is, what you can do is accept how you feel about the change. Don’t try to talk yourself out of being angry or sad or hurt or upset. If you do that, the emotions will become pent up and come out later.
Deal with it when it happens. These are normal reactions, and you have a right to feel the way you do. Accepting unexpected changes may not be possible right away; it can take a long time to learn to accept some changes, so in the meantime, simply accept your reaction to the situation. Sad, angry or upset—whatever emotion it is, don’t fight it.
Grounding is a psychological technique used to keep yourself anchored in the present. It may seem counter-intuitive to focus on the present when it is so stressful, but it’s a way you can fortify yourself to take on the present and its challenges.
There are many different grounding exercises that can help in this type of situation. Breathing exercises, being one of the best, is one grounding technique you can take with you everywhere.
Being able to ground yourself is invaluable. Grounding is a tool you can take with you everywhere and can practice anywhere. Think of yourself as a boat, life as the ocean and grounding techniques as the anchor.
Sensory grounding is another technique that can help you, and focuses on grounding yourself via the senses. For example: focusing on feeling your sweater against your skin or the grass beneath your feet.
Cognitive grounding is all about focusing on who you are, where you are, where you came from…it can go on and on. Basically, cognitive grounding is about focusing on yourself in the present. Grounding yourself while under stress is good to do as it can help you refocus yourself.
Don’t neglect yourself
When caught up in the undercurrent of life, don’t neglect yourself. Taking care of yourself may be the last thing on your mind, but do it anyways. It is something easily overlooked. You can’t take care of others, or deal well with stress, if you’re not taking care of yourself.
During difficult times, it is easy to forget to take care of ourselves, but it’s something you shouldn’t forget. Take care of yourself—you owe yourself that much. Find some self-care rituals that resonate with you and do them.
Escape for a while
Similarly, don’t forget to take a breath every so often. By that, I mean that every once and a while you need to let go of everything that’s stressing you out or making you angry or sad.
For the good of your mental health, don’t spend 24/7 upset, hurt, angry and stressed out because of this unexpected change. Give yourself some breathing time every once in a while. Give your mind a break.
Read a book, watch your favorite TV show or listen to some good music. Get out of the house with a friend and give yourself permission to let go of whatever is plaguing you—if only for a little while. This isn’t easy, but finding bright spots in the darkness is possible.
Have faith and give it time
Have faith in whatever it is you believe in. There’s faith in knowing that bad times don’t last forever. Time will change the things that need to be changed, and the bad times will go away. Have faith that no matter what comes your way, you will be able to handle it with courage and grace. Know, and have hope, that things will get better.
Negative, unexpected changes are more difficult to accept in comparison to positive or expected changes. What you need to do is feel however you feel, and give it time. Time heals all. Having to move, being fired from your job or being dumped are small in the grand scheme of life. As much as it may hurt, it won’t hurt forever. So, be patient with yourself. Within all difficulty lies possibility—it’s your job to find it.
Accepting that change is going to happen, regardless of what you try to control, is an exercise in will-power, and many times, a change, such as the ending of a relationship, a job or a sudden move can bring with it countless problems. Though you can’t always control those unexpected changes, the one thing you can always control is how you react and how you cope.