Change brings uncertainty, uncertainty gives rise to anxiety, anxiety can lead to lower mood and depression, low mood and depression makes it difficult to cope with change. But without change we stagnate, we do not develop, we don’t learn, we become bored and boredom makes us susceptible to low mood and depression. Change is also unavoidable, so it is vital that we learn how to cope with change and minimise its negative effects.
The first strategy is to accept that change will happen and that it is normal to feel some anxiety about the uncertainty that accompanies change.
Secondly, have goals that are important to you. This is important as it gives an opportunity to assess how any changes fit in your journey to reach your goals. It also allows you to make changes that will help you reach your goal giving you control over changes, reducing the uncertainty they bring as they are part of your own plan. When changes are forced upon you take time to reflect on what impact the changes are going to have on you, giving a chance to formulate a plan for yourself which may be to embrace the proposed change or to make your own change, whichever fits in best with your plan to achieve your goals.
Thirdly, be true to your own values. When our values are uppermost in our minds we are less susceptible to uncertainty and anxiety, so when change happens we can base our response on if the change is consistent with our values or not.
Instigate change yourself based on your values and goals, giving you more control of the process of change. By doing this we get used to change being part of normal life, and so when unexpected change happens the familiarity of the process of change will help us cope in a more positive fashion.
View change as an opportunity to try something different, to learn a new way of doing things, to develop new skills and knowledge.
Be mindful of what affects change have on you, are they positive effects, if so, go along with them and see where they take you. If the effects are negative or conflict with your values then make your own change to take you in a direction that is more compatible them and don’t worry about what other people think, it is more important to be true to yourself.
By being true to yourself there is more certainty, less anxiety and more enjoyment in life.