Change: Are You Surviving or Striving?
These are stressful times. You may feel that everywhere we look there seems to be one more reason to feel tense, upset, frenzied or anxious. These are truly momentous times with many transitions and changes as the future careens toward us. That being the case it is more important than ever to have the means to deal with stress inherent in change so it does not produce toxic effects in our lives.
Stress has been defined as wear and tear on the body and mind as we attempt to adapt to change. We are all aware that change causes stress. We are also aware at some level of the signs that we are stressed. What we are often not aware of are the changes that go on inside us that create the wear and tear and eventually take their toll on our health and well being.
There are many ways to lessen the effects of stress on mind and body: meditation, quiet time for ourselves, learning to breathe properly, energy work and techniques such as imagery, and visualization. All are all helpful methods that can be used alone, or woven into a complete personal stress management program. These tools are also helpful when used to clarify, set and achieve goals. Each in its own way can be a really valuable aid to assist with engaging your inner resources to help motivate you to not only get started, but also to ride the waves of change more smoothly.
Support for Stressful Times
Another useful concept for navigating the process of change, whether it is initiated by us or from the outside, is that of support? All growth and development requires adequate support in order to be successful. What are your particular needs? Support does not mean the same thing to all people. Take some time to identify what support means to you. What works for one person may not work for another. In addition, you may need different types of support at different times in as you navigate the stages of change. It is always wise to have a variety of tools available to help you navigate change as well as your path in life.
Questions to target what you need
Begin by asking what support means to you.
What types are important to you?
Where can you look for that help? This includes people, places and things!
How often will you need these resources?
Obviously there will be things you can do for yourself, but you may also need others. Who are they? Can you ask them ahead of time to be available to ensure that what you need will be forthcoming? Do you need professional support, a group or some skill building?
Have a list of all the ways that you may be able to offer yourself support can be useful. When we are stressed our thinking mind tends to shut down and we may not be able to sort out what we need. If it is available to you in written form it can really strengthen your chances of success.
Perhaps also writing out the positives that will result from the change you are going through can help give you some confidence when the going gets rough. You may also want to write out some encouraging statements on index cards and carry them with you. A friend who has committed to be an aid can be of invaluable help especially if they have gone through similar circumstances.
These approaches may seem self evident in a lot of ways, but they tend to be things we overlook. maybe because of their simplicity. Nonetheless they can help make a difference in whether you just survive or thrive through transition.
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