How can I manage change?

We do what we do. We are usually fairly 'comfortable', familiar and feel safe with how we live our lives and in some respects since we've been doing it the same way since childhood we don't know anything different.


Behavior modification starts with the awareness of a behavior that is either negative or is something that needs improvement. The awareness can come from within or it can come from another person. With awareness the choice can be made to keep the behavior as is or make a change. That change is behavior modification. 


You change when you perceive a problem or need for change.  Initially you may focus on the difficulty of change and the reasons for not changing may outweigh the reasons for changing. If the problem continues you will start to see the positive in the reasons for change and beginning plan for that change.  Change generally happens slowly. It may start through education, talking to family and friends, doing research on the internet about your options and the possibilities or working with a coach. 

Kathy Sowder
Although many of us resist change and attempt to stick with the familiar, change is inevitable, and if we can be open to change, and see it as growth, we will be more able to cope with change. If we try to avoid change, we are more likely to feel overwhelmed, less prepared, and not have developed coping skills. One way to help yourself cope is to set small goals every day that you can meet, and after you have achieved them, congratulate yourself for your progress. Many changes occur outside of our control, while we can have some control of other changes. Most of us feel better about having some control over our choices and decisions. For example, if we can set our own deadline for a project, or develop a budget, we are more likely to invest our energy in a positive way. We do need to understand that our attitude is our own choice, and that resisting change may be only hurting ourselves by making change more difficult.
Change is inevitable and is a necessary part of life. The important thing is to be patient with yourself when you are going through change, and to give yourself time to go through the phases of transition. Realize it takes time to let go of the old and embrace the new. Don't procrastinate about change because that can lead to negative feelings about yourself. One doesn’t have to go to extremes, but it can feel very satisfying at the end of the day to have accomplished a hard task or met a difficult situation head-on.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.