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The One Thing We Can Depend On

Change. It's an inevitable part of life. Everything is in flux - moving, distorting, becoming different, impermanent in its current shape. However much we might try to keep things the same or hope that nothing will ever be different, ultimately we will all be faced with changes to our circumstances. For some, change can be extraordinarily stressful, bringing on anxiety and panic attacks, whilst for others, change is welcome and seen as exciting or at least as shaking up the current status quo and heralding in a new beginning.

We are all hardwired differently - there's no doubt about that. Both my mother and son for instance, loathe change, especially if it arrives unannounced. Change plans on them and see the panic set in. Moving house has my boy initially keen and then on moving day, hiding in the shadows dealing with everything being different. My mum, who likes to timetable her life, will knock back spontaneous lunch invitations because it conflicts with her 'planned' housework ( all power to her, this is something she has been working on the last few years and while it will still cause her a certain amount of anxiety, you may actually take you up on the offer these days). Me on the other hand, loves change. For me it means something new, that life is moving on and other cool stuff may be just around the corner. Even normally stress inducing change like moving house will have me excited, focused and inspired. So while, some of this resistance or non-resistance is generic, how we react to changing circumstances can also play a factor in our ability to cope in a balanced way during these times of stress.

Learning how best to cope with change is, in my humble opinion, extremely important for us. As I said, change is inevitable - a bit like death and taxes I guess - and no-one, absolutely no-one, can go through their entire lives with nothing ever changing. So, if change freaks you out, and causes to you become panicked, anxious or just plain fearful, its imperative you find a way to deal with it in a balanced way. One of the easiest ways to cope is to ask yourself " What is the worst that can happen?" Often when you look at what that might be, you realise there are simple solutions to it, or that in fact, the 'worst' isn't actually very bad at all. A child psychologist once said to me that on the other side of fear is something good, and this is something I love to repeat to my son when he is becoming fearful of change. Because I reckon its true - 9 times out 10 the challenge of change is that we don't know what it is going to be like so we become fearful, when in reality change can bring about many wonderful new experiences and help us to grow as individuals.

Letting go of expectations is another way of becoming calmer in the face of change. This is a longer term approach and requires us to no longer hold on to expectations of how things will be. If we are no longer caught up in expecting situations or people or life to be a certain way, then when change does appear we are able to accept it and move forward much easier. There is no longer a desired outcome or behaviour or way for it to be, so the change becomes almost a part of it. It had no particular structure or way of being to begin with, so anything that deviates from its current norm is accepted. Letting go is just a brilliant way to deal with life in general - no forcing, no expectation or attachment to desired outcomes - just letting everything happen as it needs. This doesn't mean that we are inert and leave everything to fate. We still need to act and ensure a forward momentum continues. But if we stay in the present, focused on the task at hand, then we can more readily accept when the outcome is different from what we may have expected.

So embrace change. Face your fears. Learn to manage those feelings of anxiety and uncertainty, and see them as an opportunity for growth. Before you know it, you'll start to enjoy the challenge change brings and you will thrive in a myriad of ways. Because at the end of the day, change is inevitable, and acceptance the only solution.

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