Embracing Change as a Means to De-Stress
 
Sylvia Lane

Welcome back to work after Passover, Easter, Spring Break, the Thai New Year – and the tax deadline end in sight! Though we look forward to these special times, we also endure the stress of change. Mother Nature reminds us at the change of each season that change is a part of life to embrace. Ancient cultures regularly held solstice celebrations and created rituals to welcome the natural events that would unfold. Affirm with me that “Today, I look forward to and claim the gifts of a new day.”

In this blog, I ask that you join me in seeing recent changes in our lives as opportunities instead of problems. Consciously affirm that life offers us more joy than pain. We can choose to be on the UP side of discovery without ignoring or disregarding the DOWN. The brain will sometimes respond to change as though life is one great emergency. Remind yourself that there is nothing to be afraid of. You’ve been here before. You can do one thing at a time to get back in balance.

Stress is external as well as internal. The external stress may have diminished as your tasks on your “to do” list gets crossed off as “done.” Your stack of files needing work dissipates. Then there is the lingering internal stress. What triggers this? Often, we are giving ourselves negative messages or create unrealistic expectations about the future which cause anxiety, self-doubt, or a failure to accept our own success. How often have you said to yourself, “I just lucked out. I should’ve done this differently but I am not really good at this anyway.” Acknowledge your success. Stop “shoulding” on yourself. It’s OK to feel good and to feel finished. Let go. Pat yourself on the back. Brag a little. Relax.

Remember that change involves thinking, feeling, and doing. Check your thinking. Manage your self-talk and screen out negatives. Do a feeling checklist. Ask yourself if you are Mad, Glad, Sad, or Scared. Just owning the real feeling is a good start. Remember how you successfully dealt with this feeling before. Try repeating what worked for you then. What action can you take now that continues your feeling of relaxation, closure on the past, and helps to restore your energy in the present moment? We all have some tried and true methods for dealing with stress.

My own stress management techniques include taking time for mindful meditation, doing something physical like walking, stretching, or working out, and reminding myself of the love and support of friends and family. I also accept myself as a spiritual as well as a physical being. This gives me assurance that there is a higher power available and aware of my needs. Together, we can jointly understand and deal with whatever life offers.

As we embrace the changes Spring brings, we recognize that as Summer emerges, we can prepare for weddings, graduations, and welcome yet another time for vacation. Enjoy!

What are some of the ways that you manage the stress of change? Please share with our readers any ideas and feelings that may be helpful to them.

With Warm Regards,

Sylvia

 

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