We are in a season of change, and change’s twin sister is stress – they seem to go everywhere these days together!
Fear is a big one in stress. The reason most people subconsciously fear change is due to the fact that they have built an identity for themselves based in time, and that identity is threatened with change, particularly when sudden or unexpected change meets them on their life journey.
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This identity has a lot to do with their past as well as their future expectations, and usually involves a sense of ‘I’, ‘me’, ‘my’ and ‘mine’ attached to people, possessions, beliefs and even their physical body and their achievements. When change comes along, it rips through the illusion of solidity in this self-created identity, creating an immense sense of insecurity, even a sense of ‘death’ of what was.
Here are 6 tips to help surf the waves of change that inevitably come our way from time to time as we make this human journey.
- DAILY ROUTINE
Create and maintain a daily routine as far as possible. This routine may include some sort of spiritual work, like yoga or meditation first thing every morning before commencing your day, or it may be simply a thing like always making your bed on rising.
A walk around the block, with or without a dog, is another good example.
Simple daily routines can be carried out independent of changing situations and circumstance and keep you anchored in the here and now.
- EAT HEALTHILY
Some people take more care for what they put in their cars fuel tank than what they put into their mouths. They put highest grade fuel in their motor vehicle and yet low grade factory produce into their mouths. You wouldn’t put sugar into to your car’s fuel tank; don’t put it into yours either. Sugar and refined carbs aggravate stress and anxiety. We help our bodies cope with stress better when we put organic, natural fresh food, prepared with love and presence, into our mouths.
- SEEK SUPPORT FROM FRIENDS
People who have a good connection with friends live healthier longer lives. A problem shared is sometimes a problem halved, and other people can help us see situations differently. A caution here: use your friends, but don’t abuse them, don’t drag them into any hole with you, otherwise you’ll both be stuck!
- WRITE POSITIVE LISTS
So often in change, the mind focuses on the negatives overwhelmingly, and yet I know that in reality life is always in balance. The only thing which is out of balance is our perception and our thinking.
By sitting down and putting down on paper a list of possible positive things or outcomes from the change at hand will help relieve us of some of the mental pressure, and give us something to look forward to.
- CUT BACK ON SOCIAL MEDIA
So much time is wasted on surfing social media. In times of challenge and change medicating yourself this way is not a good idea as it robs you of a real connection with life as well as consumes way too much of your precious time. Rather spend your spare time connecting with nature – take a walk in a park or in a natural area. A scenic drive is an excellent way of clearing the mind and centring us. If you can, book yourself on a retreat or self-growth workshop.*
Much energy is expended unnecessarily by resisting the inevitable or even resisting the past and what is. We build a huge big “NO’ to life, and then wonder why we suffer. Saying no to what already is is insane and creates so much stress and suffering in people.
“God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.” Reinhold Niebuhr
If you are faced with challenges and change right now try using this affirmation – a hundred times a day:
“I WELCOME CHANGE AND KNOW THAT THIS IS FOR MY HIGHEST GOOD.”
As I said at the beginning of this article, stress is caused by our sense of ‘self’ being embedded in time, and a resistance to this changing identity. The antidote to time is presence. Presence dissolves time. Bring more presence into your awareness. The present moment can always be coped with and is usually pretty simple to deal with as well!