Change is an inevitable part of life. Some things we change voluntarily; others we don’t. We make conscious decisions to change our minds, our opinions and our clothes, but all too often our bodies, relationships, jobs and circumstances change without any concern to what we want or need. And although genetics can dictate a large part of the way we view the many obstacles and triumphs that life throws at us, they don’t have the final say in how we approach and respond to the transitions we undoubtedly will face. We can train ourselves to be resilient with the right tools and the right attitude. Take a look at five practical ways you can accept and adapt to whatever changes you are dealt:
Live for Today
The unknown is the single biggest threat to our sense of security and, thus, our biggest challenge when accepting change. The fear of what could be overshadows what is and makes us avoid facing those things over which we really do have control. When you get caught up in worrying about how and when things will change, remind yourself to focus on those aspects of your life in which you still have authority. Eat healthy. Exercise. Maintain your usual schedule. Anchor yourself with a routine that is familiar so that you have the time and energy to embrace the new things that pop up in your life. It’s easier to deal with something when you aren’t tired or stressed or living in the past or anticipating the future but are concentrated on the here and now instead.
Laugh at Yourself
You’ve heard the saying “there’s a thin line between love and hate.” There’s also a thin line between laughter and tears. Choose laughter. Laughter increases hormones that make us physically feel better and inhibits the ones that don’t. We might not have the power to change an event in our lives, but we certainly have the power to choose how we think about it. Develop a sense of humor to help inoculate yourself against the stresses you can’t control.
Anticipate the Good
Remember that no matter how things change, they could always be worse. Instead of dwelling on how things are different, search for ways to improve yourself during the transition. You may have lost a job, but perhaps you can enjoy some quality time with your family while you search for a new one. Maybe you’ve lost a loved one, but found an unlikely comfort in a new friend. Even a tragic episode can reveal a silver lining. Look for it, and you’re likely to find it.
Count Your Blessings
Continuously recognize the good aspects of your life: your family and friends, your faith, your career, a favorite hobby. These things create a bubble around you that insulates you from the things you can’t avoid. Take the time each day to count your blessings; it will make any unexpected threats to your security a little less significant in the overall scheme of your life since you know you have a support system on which you can rely.
Be proactive. We all know change is coming, even if we don’t know the specifics. Just because change happens doesn’t mean we have to sit back and do nothing about it. On the contrary, we can actively prepare ourselves in a variety of ways. If you know that a major shift in immigration law is going to affect your visa application but don’t understand the specifics, contact a reputable eb-5 attorney so he or she can help you anticipate the ways in which the new regulations will impact you. If you have aging parents, make a doctor’s appointment for each of them so you can monitor their health before an emergency hits. Developing a plan of action gives you concrete tasks to focus on and accomplish, helping you feel more in control.
Life’s changes don’t have to defeat you. Sometimes all it takes is reminding yourself that you have endured and even enjoyed changes in the past, and you can do the same again.