mental health

Mental Health Mondays | Change

June 17, 2019

After today’s counselling session, I’m so glad I get to just sit down at my computer and write down exactly whats on my mind – the last 30 minutes of my session was really tough, but I know that its what I need in order to heal, next week I’m being psycho-analysed and I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t a little nervous. But, as always my sessions are open & free for me to talk about anything I want, sometimes we don’t even have a topic and we just end up finding something to talk about which is relatable. Today I started the session by talking about something which has really been bothering me this past week, and after talking its really put things into perspective and has helped me decide on this week’s MHM topic!

There comes a time in our lives when things change. Sometimes these things can’t be helped and sometimes change is needed. Yet sometimes many of us try to spend a great deal of time trying to avoid change, but it inevitably catches up with us. Whether its a change in a new job, moving to a new city or, the end of a relationship. Sometimes we’re not ready for that change and it can be seen as a shock when it happens – being able to cope with change can sometimes mean you’re a resilient person.

It’s easy to become fixated on an event which we have no control over, or towards people who might never change their actions or attitude, but instead of worrying about the situation and focusing on blaming others, being a resilient person means you’re more concerned about what you can control. Instead of looking for a bad in the situation, ask yourself why this change happened, look and see if you can take responsibility for the situation or analyse and move forward. One of the hardest thing about change is that 9 times out of 10, you feel a sense of loss. Even positive changes can make you feel a little bit sad. In these changes, its important to acknowledge the loss, and pay attention to what you’ve learned from the experience.

One of the things we may not know about change is the emotions we face. Change can be difficult because it often challenges how we think, how we work and sometimes the sense of our identity, we often react to change by using our emotions, you may feel that you’re shocked, angry, coming to terms with a new situation and then acceptance may come. However, the progress through these emotions are rarely linear – there is no clear cut way to decide how we’re going to feel in these situations. Next time you’re feeling these types of emotions, ask you’re if there has been a change in something recently – and you’ll be surprised at your answer.

As much as we hate to admit it, not a lot of people like change. Its easy to fall into simple routines and expect everything to be plain sailing, so when something does happen, it throws us of our game. One of the things I’ve learnt is that it’s normal to want to avoid things that we fear because it reduces our anxiety in the short term, yet avoidance of change can prevent us from learning that things aren’t as dangerous as we think.

After putting together a little list, I’ve decided to share it with you in hope that next time a change happens, whether it’s big or small – you can incorporate these tips into your evaluation of the situation. If you’re anything like me, and your brain is constantly over thinking then these will help you to rationalise the situation and hopefully leaving you feeling less upset and are able to accept the situation more.

Before doing anything, think the situation through and ask yourself ‘whats the worst that can happen?’ – most of the time, we’re scared of change because we’re afraid of the unknown, and the best way to deal with the unknown is to think things through. Even if you’re a visual person, write down the pro’s and con’s of the situation and sometimes, it’s not as bad as it seems at first, and if it is, it may just take some time getting used to it.

Concentrate on the things you can control – when a change happens, its important to find out how much control over the situation we actually have. I’ve learnt to believe that if we don’t have control over the situation, then honestly, we probably cant do anything about it.

Accept the situation – if the change is beyond control, then instead of worrying, try and take a reflective approach. View it as an opportunity to learn and grow, don’t take it as a set back, and you may find it brings you peace of mind!

Manage your stress – improving your ability to handle stress will help you when you’re dealing with change. Even by incorporating mindfulness into your routine will help you feel instantly calm.

Just remember, that regardless of the change, wanted or unwanted, it doesn’t reflect you as a person. It doesn’t mean you’re not good enough to someone if they can’t accept you, it doesn’t mean you’re not right for the job just because you didn’t get it, and it certainly doesn’t mean that YOU should change yourself. Change is just a way of life, and sometimes, as hard as that pill may be to swallow it, we just have to do it.

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