Change can be exciting. It can also be incredibly uncomfortable. Whether it’s a big move, a new job or the end of a relationship, when we’re going through life’s transitions, how we care for ourselves day-to-day matters the most. Grab these simple practices from holistic life coach Maytal Phillips of The Consciousness Edit to embrace change in good health — or share them with a friend who is going through a period of transition…
We all go through change. There’s the famous saying by ancient Greek philosopher Heraclitus: Change is the only constant in life. And yet when big change comes we may panic, resist, be uncomfortable—all sorts of reactions. It’s part of the human experience to feel fearful and/or confused, even when it’s a change you welcomed.
The good news? These reactions are completely normal and based on our mechanism of survival. When life is constant, your brain knows what to do, how to react and you’re able to have a sense of stability. When change enters our lives, our mind short circuits—it’s not completely sure how to “keep you alive” and fear sets in.
Tips For Thriving Before, During + After Change
So, how can you tackle this fear and come out stronger on the other side? Below are a few tips to carry you through big life changes.
Take a deep breath + be present | Take a few minutes each day to breathe deeply and acknowledge everything you’re experiencing, both physically and emotionally. Be present for all of it. The key here is to not make it wrong. Whatever you’re feeling is completely perfect as is—as uncomfortable as it may be—and resisting it will only make it worse.
Also, notice what your mental chatter is saying. Is it, I can’t get through this? Or, this is too much for me to handle. Acknowledging the conversation that’s in your head taking up mental space will allow you to change it and create a mantra that empowers you instead.
Believe you can get through it | What you think you can get through is typically a lot less than what you’re capable of, or even what you give yourself credit for. The belief alone that you can get through a difficult change will move you through with velocity and ease. If we’re telling ourselves that we can’t handle something, chances are, our actions will align with these thoughts and the results will be more of the same.
When we take on an I got this! vibe, we’re able to see which steps to take, how to be present and how to not resist the process.
“There’s an African proverb that asks, How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time.”
Strange, but change seem incredibly daunting until we believe in ourselves and are able to break obstacles into smaller tasks to move forward.
Journal gratitude | Acknowledging everything amazing in your life is one of the oldest coaching tricks in the book because gratitude rewires your brain. Instead of focusing on the difficulty of a situation, shine a spotlight on everything you have to be grateful for. Even if it’s your barista that always knows what you want or when Whole Foods has your favorite snack in stock—small as they are, these are still moments to be thankful for.
Many times we wish for things and once we get to that point of change, we complain and forget how beautiful this time of life is—and that we chose it. Take a few minutes each day to write down everything you’re grateful for.
Visualize the outcome | I always ask my clients, Who do you want to be when this is over? What do you want your life to look like? Simple questions, but also difficult to answer. An amazing mentor told me that the future we’re living into is what gives us the present. If you can visualize what’s on the other side of a big life change, you will be inspired and less fearful to take next steps. Whether it’s holding your baby for the first time or turning the key in your new home, having a visceral experience in mind goes a long way in getting you through the challenging, uncertain times.
The keys to the kingdom are being present when you’re only just surviving and then looking at how you can reframe the conversation and visualize crossing the finish line. Change is inevitable, so why resist the way? There are opportunities to grow out of every difficult situation and this mindset will help you not only survive but thrive on the other side.