Coping with Change

Change and death are essential elements of life itself but we instinctively resist both. There are numerous reasons for resistance to change be it either unexpected or expected and they are rooted in fear. Nothing is as upsetting to the human psyche as unexpected change because nothing has greater potential to cause us harm.

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Like it or not we are creatures of habit who don’t like being faced with the uncertainty of change. It conflicts with our desire to control – to achieve permanence in an impermanent universe. We fail to recognize that all we can control is how we are in the present moment, change threatens to move us out of our comfort zone and that makes us feel powerless.

When unexpected and unwelcome change is thrust upon us feelings of powerless and loss can be just as intense as the feelings experienced at the opposite end of the emotional scale,  when change is expected and welcomed.

change and fear

Fortunately, we are resilient creatures who can accept change and adapt to new circumstances. But getting over the shock of unexpected or unwelcome change involves a grieving process that takes time. The time it takes to accept the reality of change and its inevitability and heal from unexpected and unwelcome impacts varies.

For me 2012 was a year featuring  impermanence, as  I lost my mother, my brother and a close friend that year.  The grieving process is not linear – it’s an roller-coaster ride featuring recognition of loss, denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance. All manifest in random order and for indeterminate periods of time.

Each of us has to find our own way to move through our grief. Be good to yourself.  Develop a calm state of mind by learning Mindful Breathing Practice and use it to cope with the stress and anxiety that change give rise to. Embrace the process of letting go of what was, accepting what now is, and begin to look for opportunities for growth in your new circumstances.

Related post:
Tim Ferris: Smash fear, Learn anything