Change, Embrace It!
Working, living with family, wherever you go, you’ll find change a constant companion. Remember the old adage, “The only certainty in life is that things will change?” How are you feeling about the changes going on in your life; from empty nest, to early retirement, to changing jobs, to even new grandchildren? How do we embrace change in a way that is healthy and hopeful, not despairing or fearful?
What is change?
Change has always been a part of our lives- as an infant, from crawling to toddling, then off on a run. As we age, we are challenged to make changes in our health, our work, our thinking and our environment. In our society, we operate within systems, “any structure that exhibits order and pattern”, such as family systems, work systems, and health systems. Each day brings a challenge to embrace change or resist it, as we are called to change, sometimes at warp speed!
How do we embrace change?
Change can feel fearful or adventurous. It might seem advantageous at first to resist change. However, we always have choices in how we approach change. It may not be an easy choice but one in which our health, well-being and future depend upon.
When resisting change, the brain goes into a “flight or fight” mode, which is an automatic response for our protection. When we are feeling fearful or anxious, the brain reacts to protect itself and goes into an automatic mode. We are not as free to think creatively and stress hormones are continually released into our physical systems to fight off or flee from what is making us resistant, fearful, anxious, angry or unhappy. Over time, the stress can create poor health, such as heart disease, migraines, strokes, and obesity. These symptoms lead to a shorten life span.
To embrace change and analyze our choices, we can use the following questions to meditate upon, process and focus on the changes facing us:
1) What is my part in the change that is occurring?
If the change is happening around you or in your work place, write down your feelings about the changes and look at how your efforts can make a positive difference, regardless of the circumstances.
- What losses will you experience from the change?
- What will you gain?
- What efforts will you need to put forth?
- What will you learn?
- What can be the outcome of this change?
2) What are the possibilities that the change can bring to my life?
Change can be an opportunity to think big, bold and dream. We do have choices and writing down a plan of action will give you ways to make your own personal healthy changes, rather than feeling victimized. Sometimes we need to be ready to try new things, regardless of how we feel. The only failures occur when we don’t move forward.
- Where will the changes take you in the next 3 months? 6 months? 1 year?
- How can it fit into a new vision?
- How do these changes fit into the purposes you have been called to serve?
3) What support structures do I need in my life to encourage my change efforts?
Making changes are hard because the brain likes habits. Find a friend, coach or group of people who will help you be accountable to the changes and dreams you want to make and can keep you positive and healthy.
- Who do you have in your life that will listen to your dreams?
- How can these support structures help you gain clarity and focus?
You can embrace change in any setting and live a more hopeful, healthy life, day by day. Your joy and health depend upon it. I would love to come along side you as you embrace changes in your life. Contact me for a free success strategy session today. Your journey can be positive, regardless of the overwhelm facing you.
Nancy Booth is a certified life coach and certified brain-based coach. She loves creating safe spaces for women going through life’s transitions to discover and support their visions for health and well-being in an overwhelming world, explore possibilities for next steps and find hope. She writes about taming the overwhelm and reducing stress, looking for ways to motivate, energize and inspire you! You can sign up to receive her weekly blog or contact her to find out ways you can begin to shed overwhelm and stress. It’s time to explore possibilities of new relationships, better life pacing and gain hope and peace.