Change happens. How do you handle it? by Amy Goldberg

We know intellectually that change is constant and yet emotionally and physically we don’t always handle it too well. So what gives? There is a perceived risk of fear associated with change. Fear of the unknown. Just as we start to get comfortable with something … change happens. When it does our brain triggers fear or excitement. So, if that’s the case why not trick our brain into thinking that we’re excited rather than fearful or anxious.

Did you know that your body has the same physiological response whether you’re fearful, anxious or excited? The chemical release in our bodies is the same. Knowing this is where we can begin to change our emotional experience of the situation.

Here’s an exercise that you can do immediately to help. The next time you have a fearful reaction to a situation or a change in your life, raise your arms over your head (like a victory pose) and say; “I AM EXCITED!” Repeat this like a mantra. What’s happening is that you’re getting yourself out of a threat mindset; where you’re thinking about all the things that could go wrong, and into an opportunity mindset; where you’re thinking about all the positive things that can happen. This little trick will help. Try it.

In order, however, to get better with change we need to learn to shift our behaviour. In the long run, it’s best to acknowledge and confront why you’re uncomfortable. If you are becoming fearful or anxious, try changing the story that you’re telling yourself. Ask yourself: “Why am I fearful?” “What’s holding me back?” Then choose to focus on all the opportunities and positive outcomes that will come of this change. Over time you’ll get better at it. It’ll become your new learned behaviour.

Once you realize that change happens whether you’re ready for it or not, you will begin to build up your resiliency for change. Think of it this way – the more you experience in life, the more you have to offer. Now THAT’S Exciting!

Amy Goldberg