Adapting To Life Changes
We all have to adapt throughout life to changing situations. It may be moving away from home for the first time, perhaps going off to college, moving house or traveling abroad for extended periods and so on. Change can be a hard issue to deal with for many people as no-one enjoys being taken out of their comfort zone and thrown into the unknown.
In this article I will only deal with milder changes such as the above rather than heavier issues such as coping with death or losing one’s job. Although you may still find it helpful to take some of the tips mentioned on board for those sorts of situations. This article is designed more specifically for situational life changes.
1. Taking An Optimistic Approach
When faced with change, one of the greatest tools we can employ is to reason with ourselves that change is good and necessary for us. This may sound like a tall order, but one has to rationally believe that change will bring about a positive outcome in the long run. Of course it can be extremely difficult at the time to stand back and assess the situation in this manner, but try to take a more subjective stance on things.
Optimism and enthusiasm can get you through many situations and changes in life, you simply need to develop a more positive outlook. To achieve this, visualize yourself once you have made the change whatever it may be. For example with moving home, picture yourself in your new surroundings, with your own belongings around you. Then imagine having family and friends over to visit and yourself doing everyday activities once you are settled in to your new home. Looking ahead in this way can bring you comfort and reassurance as well as optimism about making these changes which can seem scary and daunting at the time. Try to see the changes that are happening to you right now as presenting a new opportunity for personal growth for you in your life.
2. Develop A Proactive Attitude
Being proactive is essentially about stepping up to the plate and putting your best foot forward. Proactive people get jobs done faster, more efficiently and with time to spare. They are go-getters and seem unafraid to take risks. This can seem like a lot to take on, especially if you are naturally a shy individual. Therefore, one has to take parts of these character traits on board one step at a time. For example with moving away to college and joining new clubs or social groups, you have to get out there and actively research what you would like to do.
Asking people, checking websites, reading flyers, signing up for events; these can only be achieved by yourself if you take a proactive approach. Start small and build up contacts, join one group first to see how you feel about it and go from there. This concept can be applied to job hunting tactics as well. You have to really want to achieve something internally before you can seek it out using external means.
It can help enormously to face adjustments in life head on if you can take an open-minded attitude to the changes you are going through. This means not assuming how a situation or event will turn out but viewing both sides from a more subjective standpoint. If you can do this, you will not only be able to come up with more creative solutions for problems you may face, you will also discover new strategies and alternative outcomes for issues.
Open-mindedness is something that one can develop through standing back from a situation and in taking stock of it. Ask others for their options, try not to jump to conclusions and in general developing ones listening skills can really enhance an open-minded approach to develop. Make pro and con lists for certain issues or concerns you may have as this too will help you see and weigh up both sides more clearly.
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4. Maintaining Focus
Focusing in on the changes you are going through cannot only make any transitions easier, it will also help you to organize your thoughts more clearly. Through focusing you will be able to prioritize tasks more efficiently and promote deeper concentration on issues. It can be easy to let your emotions take hold during upheaval or unwelcome changes, so being more rational in your approach and focusing in on the task at hand will help you to overcome that emotional burden. In addition, it will bring you strength and another coping mechanism in the long run as well.
For example with moving home due to a relationship breakdown, concentrate on packing, writing lists, sorting out schools for your children if that is needed in your new area and so on. Give yourself a sense of direction and allow yourself to confidently step forwards with bravery and focus and you will grow in strength and resilience as well.
5. Seeking Support
Lastly, asking family and friends for advice and support can be a crucial and helpful aid to someone facing changes in life. You can not only draw inspiration from them in asking about the adjustments and sacrifices they have had to make in their lives, but also you can find courage through opening up to others and in sharing your emotions. It is important to talk about issues you may have with loved ones as this can help you to find a solution and it can bring comfort. You could feel that a weight is lifted and as the saying goes ‘a problem shared is a problem halved’.
So ask questions, express your concerns and through talking together, you may be able to come up with more creative solutions to your problems than you could have imagined on your own. Others can boost your resolution in a decision relating to life changes, help you to see both sides of an adjustment and to increase your open mindedness which we discussed in point three.
Failing finding support at home or at work with colleagues, seeking out medical support may also be an option for you, especially if you are finding a change particularly hard or that it is taking an intense toll on you both physically and mentally. Talking with a friendly therapist or joining a local mental health support group could also be a way forwards for you. Search online, in magazines, newspapers and in flyers at your local doctors or hospital for further information on where your nearest services are. Some of these may be free and it could be worth checking out to help you overcome your difficulties sooner and more effectively.
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Below is a You Tube video from Jessica Rector from her channel ‘Live Your Greatest Life Coach’. She discusses how to adapt to changes in life.