How to Adjust to Change
by Linda-Ann Stewart
During the shutdown, many people felt unmoored, unsettled, anxious and depressed. Many over-achievers wandered from room to room, unable to focus on doing anything. Part of it was that their routine was destroyed, and they didn't know what was coming next. And part of it was that they realized that life wasn't going to go back to "normal." There were going to be changes that they would have to adjust to. Without realizing it, they were grieving over what they'd lost, and trying to accept the changes that would become a permanent part of their lives.
Whenever there's a change, whether good or bad, you mourn over what you've left behind. Grief isn't just limited to the death of a loved one. For instance, you get a promotion, but there's a part of you that's yearning for the simpler responsibilities you once had. Even a smoker who quits generally grieves over giving up cigarettes, even though they're thrilled to welcome their new found health and freedom.
With any change, there's always a sacrifice. You gain something new while you let go of something old. And when your new circumstances aren't immediately better than the old ones, your feelings of grief increase. Those feelings can be addressed and understood.
The Stages of Grief
When you're able to recognize what's going on, then the feelings can begin to move through you. It helps to be able to identify the different stages of grief. You probably won't go through these states in order, and may go through one of them more than once.
1. Denial or resistance. You feel shocked, refuse to believe that things have changed or resist the changes that are necessary.
2. Anger. You're furious over what's happened, even though you know it was no one's fault.
3. Bargaining. You try to find ways to change the past or reduce the adjustments you must make.
4. Depression. You're deeply sad, overwhelmed, and feel hopeless and helpless.
5. Acceptance. You come to terms with what's happened and begin to put your life back together in a new way.
6. Meaning. You seek to find the lessons for you in what's happened.
The Importance of Finding Meaning in Life's Changes
There are always lessons to be learned from any challenge you face. When you look for what those lessons might be, you find purpose in what's happened. That purpose can shift the situation from unhappy to manageable, and possibly even positive. You're taking control of your thoughts about it and determining to make the best of it.
Some of the questions you can ask yourself are:
Finding meaning in what's happened empowers you. It transforms the outcome of an awful situation from disabling to fulfilling. You decide how change is going to impact you and how it's going to help you grow.
- "What do I still have that I can use to rebuild my new life?"
- "How has the situation changed me?"
- "What do I appreciate that I have had or now have?"
- "What have I learned from this that can help me moving forward?"
- "What good has emerged from this?"
Copyright © 2009-2023 Linda Ann Stewart
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As a focus coach, hypnotherapist, and speaker, Linda-Ann Stewart motivates women to focus and transform their business through deliberate actions that break through distraction and overwhelm to greater success, freedom, wellbeing and prosperity. Register for her FREE Design Your Best Day guide and guided meditation at www.Linda-AnnStewart.com/guide.html. You can contact her at LAS@Linda-AnnStewart.com or 928-600-0452.