What a week! I had one of my very oldest friends from high school come see me. My stepson went back to college after spending the summer at home. To top it all off...we had an earthquake here in Northern California!
All these things together got me thinking about change. It got me thinking about how many changes I've gone through since high school. It got me thinking about all the changes my stepsons are going through. It got me thinking about how life can change in an instant...when we least expect it.
Life is full of changes. No one really loves change. Dealing with changes can be uncomfortable, even scary, because there are a lot of "unknowns". A great way to deal with life changes is to get perspective on life. Gaining perspective is key. It often makes the difference between resisting or accepting the new changes that are happening in your life. So how do we do that?
- Get Away. New places, new faces and new experiences can help you gain perspective. It can help you break out of a rut you may be in and can help you clear your mind. Traveling someplace new can help you get away from the contents of your everyday life and therefore the "change" that has happened may not seem quite as uncomfortable, scary or sad anymore.
- Surround yourself with positive people. This is something we should all do anyway, but is especially important during times of change. This includes yourself and your own self-talk. If you were your own best friend, what advice would you give yourself? Remember that you would probably offer words of encouragement.
- Do something fun. Allowing yourself to enjoy and receive pleasure in life creates new pathways for openings and inspiration. It elevates your mood and energy, giving you greater perspective on what happened and what's possible. It frees up stuck energy.
- Be healthy. When we're under great amounts of stress, it's easy to fall of the bandwagon, stop exercising and eat unhealthy foods. This can throw us off balance. Staying healthy can help us make the right decisions. Notice exercise sounds a lot like "exorcise." Moving can help us purge our tension and inner demons. Being healthy keeps us in flow.
- Spend time alone. When you're going through major life changes, being alone may be the last thing you really want to do. Often times we want to fill up empty space we feel with TV or an overly-chatty friend. Being around too many people and ideas can drown out the still, inner voice that resides within you when you are quiet. Spend time in nature, take walks, trust what feels right. These are often the times we receive guidance that may lead to your next step. Sometimes looking at something bigger than us...can make us feel small. This can help us realize that whatever difficult change we are going through isn't really as big as we think it is. It always seems SO important...until it doesn't. Perspective is key.
These are just a few ways that can help you gain perspective in times of change...wanted and unwanted change. Sometimes we have to make hard choices in life, I know I have. Sometimes change is unexpected. Either way, hopefully these tools can help with the process.
I can't write about change without mentioning this....A GREAT tool to learn about life changes is the book "Who Moved My Cheese" by Spencer Johnson, M.D. It's a simple story about two mice named Sniff and Scurry, and two "Littlepeople" named Hem and Haw who live in a maze and they look for cheese to make them happy. The "cheese" is a metaphor for the things we want in life and the "maze" is where we look for what we want. In the story, the characters are faced with unexpected change. It is written for all ages and it's unique insights can last a lifetime. A wonderful book for the whole family.
Life will always be full of changes. Those changes don't have to cause stress if we have tools to make dealing with them easier. Those changes could be a blessing in disguise. Those changes could be an opportunity to grow. Just remember, whatever changes you face in life, they aren't permanent.
-Some of the bulletpoints above are based on an article written by Huffpost Healthy Living.