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Sunday, June 26, 2011

Any change can bring about stress

Change is a fact of life, so learning how to deal with stress associated with change is something that everyone needs to do.
What is Change?

People have to deal with many different types of change throughout their lives, and doing so almost always leads to an increase in stress. Sometimes change is planned and sometimes it takes you by surprise: it's a fact that change is sometimes foreseen and sometimes unforeseen. It can also be good, bad, or indifferent.

No matter how you perceive change, it can be a powerful stressor. In order to understand how to deal with change, it's important to first understand what change is, both as a noun and a verb.
Change as a Noun

When you look at the word change as a thing, the term references some type of:

Novel approach

Change as a Verb

When you look at the word change as an "action", the term refers to the process or act of becoming:


Understanding Stress Associated with Change

The fact that change impacts everyone at one time or another does not mean that most people are comfortable or prepared to deal with it when it occurs. In the modern world, change - both professionally and personally -- seems to occur with an increasing rate of frequency. Many times, people don't feel like they've been able to adjust to one change before yet another one comes along. This often causes feelings of being out of control and overwhelmed, which leads to stress. To cope with the stress associated with change more effectively, it's important to understand that you do have control over how you allow change to affect you. One of the reasons that change is often viewed as a stressor is that people tend to view it negatively. People have a tendency to prefer stability and security. However, individuals don't often perform their best in the absence of change. There's a very real tendency to become complacent when things stay the same for an extended period of time. Change can be quite positive. Many times, change leads to improved outcomes and better decisions.
Basic Facts About Change

Change is inevitable.
The outcomes of change cannot be known in advance.
The unknown is not necessarily worse than the known.
Change can lead to greater creativity.
Some changes are for the better, some are for the worse.
Stress is a natural side effect of change.
There is an element of risk associated with change.
Implementing change requires commitment.
Change cannot be implemented correctly without action.
Seeing a change through takes courage.

Tips for Handling with Stress Associated with Change

Recognize the limitations you place on yourself. There's often a difference between what you think you can do and what you can actually do.

Stay positive about change.

Cultivate a support network of friends and colleagues and lean on them during times of change.
Lean on your family and friends during times of high stress.
Work on building and maintaining positive self esteem.
Recognize that the way you do things now is likely to change multiple times in the future.
Realize the change can - and probably will - occur in your personal and professional life quite frequently.
Don't allow yourself to assume that a proposed change will be bad without giving it a fair chance.
Make an effort to consider the possible positive consequences of doing things differently.
Focus on the big picture.
Seek to understand the reasons change may be needed.
Be willing to be flexible.
Don't engage in avoidance behavior when tasked with adapting to a change.
When change is inevitable, focus your energy on making the best of it rather than resisting.
Take care of yourself. Your body and mind are better able to handle both stress and change when you are well rested and properly nourished.
Opt for quick stress relievers to deal with your immediate anxiety about imminent change.

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