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How to Deal with Change

Seasons Change and So Do We

"The beauty of change is found in its ability to reveal the resilience and adaptability within us."

Change is an inevitable aspect of life, whether we embrace it or not. The more we resist change, the more we experience pain. Buddhism recognizes the inherent beauty in the transformative nature of existence. It compares life to music, where if a note or phrase is clung to beyond its intended duration, the melody is lost. Therefore, Buddhism can be summarized in two simple phrases: "Let go!" and "Walk on!" Release the desire for self, for permanence, and for specific circumstances, and instead flow with the rhythm of life.

Our first reaction to the unexpected change is usually quite negative. Feeling vulnerable and maybe even threatened, we can react badly. In fact, we go through stages: Surprise (shock, wondering why this is happening to us.), Panic (how the changes will impact us and if we'll be able to handle them), and even Blame (we try to find safety and reassurance by shifting the blame to someone else).

Bottom linewe all need to know how to handle change.

''Any change, even a change for the better, is always accompanied by drawbacks and discomforts.''
— Arnold Bennett

What is the worst that can happen? Ask this question, then decide just how likely it is to happen. The next question is, ''How likely is it to happen?''

How much and what part of this change can you control? When change happens, figure out how if it's something you can control, and just how much control you do have.

Think positive! Looking at the positives will help you feel better about the event — period.

Take action! And do it right away. Any change needs your attention. Plus, procrastination always breeds anxiety. Who needs more of that?

Accept(or change the change) this thing that has happened. ''God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, Courage to change the things I can, And wisdom to know the difference.''

Practice stress reduction. Meditate, get out into the fresh air. Do yoga or distract yourself.

Seek out and find support. Talk to friends or family. Chances are that someone you know has gone through or is going through the same thing. If that doesn't help a professional counselor is always an option.

Life is full of changes. Many of us insist on making these changes and challenges(opportunities?) harder than they already are. If we believe something is possible or impossible — we are right. We all need to stay open to what can be. Embracing change requires less energy and leads to better results.

Navigating through change doesn't have to be a negative ordeal. Its difficulty and negativity are only as intense as we perceive them to be. Therefore, let's practice self-compassion and equip ourselves with readiness, willingness, and capability to embrace whatever life presents us. By doing so, we can create a more fulfilling and improved life experience.

Alan Watts ~ Why We Resist Change


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