Life Not Going Like You Planned? 7 Tips to Handle Change
By Laura Goldberg, M.A.
We must be willing to let go of the life we have planned, so as to have the life that is waiting for us. ~ Joseph Campbell
When we are experiencing an unanticipated life transition, many things that we believed to be true are no more. Most of us will be required to let go of things that no longer fit in our lives. Letting go is uncomfortable and we tend to resist it. Even if we believe that change is a good thing, it is still challenging to find our sense of equilibrium. It may feel like we are on one of those moving walkways found at the airport. There are bumps along the way that knock us around. We instinctively reach for the handrail to help steady ourselves. As we attempt to navigate our way past the bumps, it is important to remember that it is natural to feel off balance for a while. How can we get off the old track and onto the new without a time of unsteadiness?
During periods of immense change, there are things that we can do to lighten our loads. The following seven golden nuggets will help you to manage your life transition in a more effective way:
1. First and foremost it is important to arrange our lives so that we feel as safe as possible. Some of us may have enjoyed a special blanket or stuffed animal when we were young. Remember that feeling of utter bliss and safety we felt when we snuggled that lovely piece of soft cloth or fur? We can replicate that feeling of comfort by playing soothing music, burning a fragrant candle, or reading an uplifting passage from a favorite book. Even frequenting a familiar coffee shop where someone knows our name, or shopping at a favorite grocery store, can bring us back to a place of peace. On Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, safety is a basic psychological need and should be a high priority for all of us.
2. It is also beneficial to practice rituals that allow us to quiet our minds and refresh our spirits. Communing with nature and grounding ourselves in the earth can be very helpful. There is something very gratifying about connecting with nature. It is as if for a brief moment of time, we truly remember who we are and why we are here. Allowing our senses to indulge in the magnificence of nature can be quite soothing.