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4 Ways to Deal with Big Life Changes

4 Ways to Deal with Big Life Changes

Change is constant. Whether it’s in the workplace or our relationships, nothing in life ever remains quite the same.

Regardless of the gravity of change, it can always be a little scary. So scary, in fact, that some people are downright crippled by the idea of it causing them to remain stagnant in anxiety.

Think about it for a second. Have you ever noticed how much of life’s transitional periods are ridden with anxious vibes? The Quarter Life Crisis, The Mid-Life Crisis, wet feet before getting married, freaking out when you retire, teenage angst, and going from relationship to relationship are just a few examples of transitional periods when people tend to panic.

We can’t control every aspect of our lives and we can’t stop change from happening. But how we respond to change will greatly affect our overall life experience.

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    1. Don’t fight it

    I once heard one of my favorite yoga instructors say “Suffering is what occurs when we resist what is already happening.” The lesson has stuck with me ever since.

    Life changes are usually out of our control. Rather than trying to manipulate the situation and wishing things were different, try flowing with it instead.

    Of course, some initial resistance is natural if we’re going into survival mode. Just make sure you are conscious of when this resistance is no longer serving you.

    2. Find healthy ways to deal with your feelings

    Whenever we’re in transitional periods it can be easy to lose track of ourselves. Sometimes we feel like we’re being tossed about by life and like we’ve lost our footing, causing some very uncomfortable feelings to rise.

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    One way we can channel these feelings is by finding healthy ways to release them. For instance, whenever I find myself in a difficult transitional phase I end up in a mixed martial arts studio.

    The physical activity helps me channel my emotions and release endorphins. It also helps me get in shape which generally increases my mood and energy levels.

    3. Reframe your perspective

    Reframing perspectives is a very powerful tool used in life coaching. It helps clients take  a situation they are struggling with, such as a major life change, and find some sort of empowerment in it.

    Some examples of disempowered thinking during life changes include casting blame, focusing on negative details or victimizing. These perspectives can make awkward transitional phases much worse than they have to be.

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    Meanwhile if we come from a more positive perspective such as finding a lesson in the situation, realizing that there may be an opportunity for something or that everything passes we can come from a greater place of ease.

    4. Find time for self-reflection

    Having time to reflect is important at any stage in your life, but it’s especially important during transitional periods.It’s quite simple really, we need our time to step back and get centered when things get a little crazy.

    As a result, big life changes are perfect for doing some self-reflection. They are opportunities to check in with ourselves and practice getting grounded for a few minutes.

    Self-reflective exercises include meditating, yoga or journaling – all of which require some quiet time to get yourself together.

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    Big life changes may rock us for a little while, but they don’t have to be as bad as we initially perceive them. If handled in a positive manner transitional periods can pave the way for some serious self-growth, reflection and awareness.

    Featured photo credit by Sean MacEntee via Flickr (CC BY 2.0) and inline photo Railway via Shutterstock

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    Last Updated on December 2, 2018

    How to Flow Your Way to a More Productive Life

    How to Flow Your Way to a More Productive Life

    Ebb and flow. Contraction and expansion. Highs and lows. It’s all about the cycles of life.

    The entire course of our life follows this up and down pattern of more and then less. Our days flow this way, each following a pattern of more energy, then less energy, more creativity and periods of greater focus bookended by moments of low energy when we cringe at the thought of one more meeting, one more call, one more sentence.

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    The key is in understanding how to use the cycles of ebb and flow to our advantage. The ability to harness these fluctuations, understand how they affect our productivity and mood and then apply that knowledge as a tool to improve our lives is a valuable strategy that few individuals or corporations have mastered.

    Here are a few simple steps to start using this strategy today:

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    Review Your Past Flow

    Take just a few minutes to look back at how your days and weeks have been unfolding. What time of the day are you the most focused? Do you prefer to be more social at certain times of the day? Do you have difficulty concentrating after lunch or are you energized? Are there days when you can’t seem to sit still at your desk and others when you could work on the same project for hours?

    Do you see a pattern starting to emerge? Eventually you will discover a sort of map or schedule that charts your individual productivity levels during a given day or week.  That’s the first step. You’ll use this information to plan your days going forward.

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    Schedule According to Your Flow Pattern

    Look at the types of things you do each day…each week. What can you move around so that it’s a better fit for you? Can you suggest to your team that you schedule meetings for late morning if you can’t stand to be social first thing? Can you schedule detailed project work or highly creative tasks, like writing or designing when you are best able to focus? How about making sales calls or client meetings on days when you are the most social and leaving billing or reports until another time when you are able to close your door and do repetitive tasks.

    Keep in mind that everyone is different and some things are out of our control. Do what you can. You might be surprised at just how flexible clients and managers can be when they understand that improving your productivity will result in better outcomes for them.

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    Account for Big Picture Fluctuations

    Look at the bigger picture. Consider what happens during different months or times during the year. Think about what is going on in the other parts of your life. When is the best time for you to take on a new project, role or responsibility? Take into account other commitments that zap your energy. Do you have a sick parent, a spouse who travels all the time or young children who demand all of your available time and energy?

    We all know people who ignore all of this advice and yet seem to prosper and achieve wonderful success anyway, but they are usually the exception, not the rule. For most of us, this habitual tendency to force our bodies and our brains into patterns of working that undermine our productivity result in achieving less than desired results and adding more stress to our already overburdened lives.

    Why not follow the ebb and flow of your life instead of fighting against it?

      Featured photo credit: Nathan Dumlao via unsplash.com

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