5 Helpful Tips for Adjusting to Change

By Andrew Walton

December 19, 2014   •   Fact checked by Dumb Little Man

Whether we are talking about a business or an individual, change is necessary for growth and improvement, but many of these have difficulties adjusting to change or resist it altogether. It goes without saying that change requires a great deal of faith. Unfortunately, in most cases, it is easier to believe in faith or preach it than it is to live by it. Learning how to cope with change is an important skill that one must attain in order to improve our companies or our lives.

Reasons why Change is so difficult

There are 4 primary reasons why so many individuals have a problem making changes or adjusting to them. This includes:

Change is not popular – resisting change is a universal mentality that invites dislike and tension hence its unpopularity.

Fear of the unknown – because of our fears, we resist what we cannot calculate or discern an outcome for.

Leaving our comfort zones – although it scares many of us to venture outside of or our comfort zones, many individuals relish it.

Uncertainty overcomes certainty – we are forced to navigate untested waters when we change and therefore, we prefer what we are certain of.

The fact that most of us dislike change and resist it so much is just human nature. We like living in our comfort zones and maintaining our personal habits or patterns. However, when you are dealing with everyday life, change is an inevitability.

Even though positive change is good, it still requires an adjustment and learning new patterns, thereby making it difficult. Therefore, developing certain coping skills will help you throughout your life when adjusting to change.

Adjusting to Change

Whether you are adjusting to changes in the workplace or making positive changes in your life (introducing beneficial company policies or becoming a parent), the following 5 helpful tips will help you make those changes in seamless fashion:

1) Embrace the changes you are making – the more you persist, the easier it will be to make and adjust to future changes. Accepting change makes the transition easier and enables you to develop and maintain a positive attitude. Just remember that change can be difficult and no two individuals are alike. You will probably handle changes in your life differently from others.

2) Identify those supportive individuals in your life – making changes and adjusting to them can be considerably easier when you have a support system in place. It is important to surround yourself with those individuals who care about you or love you and will always be there to help you with the difficulties of adjusting to changes in your life.

3) Maintain normal patterns – although you are making changes in your life, you still need to maintain some normalcy in the process. For instance, you may try to maintain some of your pre-parenthood habits or patterns when becoming a parent and feeling that your whole world has just been turned upside down. As an example, you can still maintain healthy eating habits even though your sleeping patterns are no longer normal.

4) Recall those coping skills that worked for you in the past – think back to a time when you had to make a change in your life when you are adjusting to a new change and try to recall how you were able to cope at that time. What skills did you use in order to make those adjustments? When you figure out what skills you employed put them to work again in order to cope with these new changes that your are making.

5) Your emotions are important; don’t try to stifle them – during times of change, we oftentimes become “stuffers” and do not allow ourselves to experience those emotions that are totally normal during these periods in our lives. This doesn’t mean that you should wallow in them. It simply means that you should be allowed to express them. Think about how good you feel after a good cry or when you have been laughing with a friend. Don’t stuff your emotions; let them out occasionally.

The sooner you follow these tips above, the easier it will be to adjust to any changes you are making in your life and be happy with how they are working for you. Reach out to those supportive individuals (see above) or if necessary, discuss your circumstances with a licensed psychologist who is skilled in this area.

Accepting Life’s Impermanence

Another important considering is that life is never static; it is always dynamic. No matter what stage of our lives we are in and no matter what we may have in common with others, change is always constant. Even more important is the fact that change is inevitable. It follows then that adjusting to change is a skill that everyone must learn. Despite the fact that change is normal and oftentimes welcomed, it can still be difficult and stressful to acclimate ourselves to it. So how can we reduce our anxieties and stress when making changes and adjusting to them?

First and foremost, you have to realize that your life will never remain the same (nor will anyone else’s for that matter). No matter where you currently are in your life, there are no guarantees that your future will turn out as planned. If you accept this and realize that life is not permanent, it will much easier to cope when unexpected events occur. If you can recognize these events for what they are and focus on making the most of a particular situation or set of circumstances, you won’t be panicking about these changes.

Change: the Ultimate Growth Opportunity

Remember above all else that we are usually much better off after making changes in our life regardless of how uncomfortable this may seem initially. Granted, it forces us to venture out of our comfort zones. However, it enables us to see the world differently and in most cases, more positively. Ultimately, change is the polish that enables us to shine. As we open new chapters in our life, we are able to improve the person that we are and set new goals for ourselves.

Andrew Walton

AJ Walton left home to travel the world in an effort to understand what makes us tick. He blogs at AJWalton.com

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