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Last Updated on November 27, 2020

4 Ways to Deal With Big Life Changes in a Positive Way

4 Ways to Deal With Big Life Changes in a Positive Way

Life changes are constant. Whether it’s in the workplace or our relationships, nothing in life ever remains the same for long.

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 through anxiety.

Have you ever noticed how much of life’s transitional periods are riddled with anxious vibes? The quarter life crisis, the mid-life crisis, cold feet before getting married, retirement anxiety, and teenage angst 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. However, how we respond to change will greatly affect our overall life experience.

Here are 4 ways you can approach life changes in a positive way.

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.

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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.

If you’re feeling anxious about impending life changes, it’s time to practice some techniques to address the anxiety directly. These can include meditation, exercise, talking with friends about how you’re feeling, or journaling.

If you’re worried about a big life change, such as starting a new job[1] or moving in with your partner, do your best to control your expectations. It may help you to talk with people you know about their experiences going through similar changes. This will help you form a realistic picture in your mind of what things will look like post-change.

2. Find Healthy Ways to Deal With 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 arise.

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.

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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.

Exercise is important in cultivating positive emotions, but if you’re struggling with anxiety in particular, it’s important to cultivate a regular exercise routine as opposed to a one-off workout. One study found that “Aerobic exercise can promote increase in anxiety acutely and regular aerobic exercise promotes reduction in anxiety levels”[2].

If exercise isn’t your thing, there are other, less intense ways of cultivating positive emotions and reducing anxiety around life changes. You can try stretching, meditating, reading in nature, spending time with family and friends, or cooking a healthy meal.

Find what makes you feel good and helps you ground yourself in the present moment.

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[3]. These perspectives can make awkward transitional phases much worse than they have to be.

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Meanwhile, if we utilize 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.

Take a look at this reflective cycle adapted from Glibb’s Self-reflection guide (1988):[4]

Use self-reflection when facing life changes.

    Self-reflective exercises include meditating, yoga or journaling,[5] all of which require some quiet time to get yourself together.

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    One study found that journal improves “self-efficacy, locus of control, and learning”[6]. A healthy sense of self-control can make the process of change easier to bear, so that in itself is a great reason to try self-reflection through journaling.

    To learn how to start journaling, you can check out this article.

    Final Thoughts

    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.

    Cultivate a sense of positivity and find ways to diminish the anxiety around life changes. Once you make it to the other side, you’ll be grateful that you made it through in the best way possible.

    More Tips on Facing Life Changes

    Featured photo credit: Alora Griffiths via unsplash.com

    Reference

    More by this author

    Amanda Abella

    Amanda is a Millennial Finance Expert, Sales & Marketing Coach and Amazon Bestselling Author of Make Money Your Honey

    4 Ways to Deal With Big Life Changes in a Positive Way 5 Small Hacks to Improve Your Health in 2013 and Beyond

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    Last Updated on November 27, 2020

    How to Make Changes in Life To Be the Best Version of You

    How to Make Changes in Life To Be the Best Version of You

    Let’s start with the problem:

    You get back from work. You’re tired. It was a long day. You know there’re things you could do, to get out of the rut you’re in.

    But, let’s be honest. You really would rather relax, sit down and chill for a bit. Grab a snack. Watch your favourite show.

    By the time you’ve done that, the day’s over. There’s just not enough time. To make this worse – you don’t have the energy or willpower to make changes in your life today.

    So where do you go from there?

    What you need are some easy to apply actions that are proven to work.

    This article is going to give you 4 steps on how to make changes in life so you can follow today and get closer to success – even when you are feeling tired and lazy.

    These steps have proven to work for me, and many of the coaching clients I work with privately.

    1. Squash Inconsistency by Giving up Motivation

    Now most people, when they want to make changes to their lives, focus on making lengthy to-do lists and plans. They think over and over again about what is going wrong, what is going well and what they want, etc.

    All in a bid to push themselves to getting more motivated.

    Guess what? This isn’t going to work.

    Willpower and motivation are feelings. Feelings are vague and unreliable.

    Instead, what you should do is focus on putting your flawed unpredictable self in the best possible environments.

    If you do one thing first from this list, it’s THIS:

    Find and go to the best possible environment for the area of your life you want to change.

    For example:

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    • If you want to get fit, make your first goal to show up at the gym three times a week.
    • If you want to find a new relationship, show up to a meet up in your city for single people.
    • If you want to be productive and make your business idea work, don’t work at home, go to a co working space nearby.

    The reason people fail to become the best version of themselves is because they underestimate the power of environments to influence behavior.

    Accept that you are flawed, prone to distractions and your motivation and willpower will fail you.

    The best hack at your disposal? Show up to “change inducing” environments and get out of your comfort zone (physically)!

    OK. Next step.

    2. Recruit an Elite Team to Help You (For Free)

    Send this message to one person you already know and trust that they can help you make changes to your life:

    “Hey [first name]. Can I be really frank and honest with you? I’m having one of those – ‘OMG I NEED TO MAKE CHANGES TO MY LIFE!’ moments.

    And I was browsing the internet, looking for tips and this article I came across suggested accountability. So here I am, messaging you to be part of my accountability system.

    My ask is simple.

    Can we sit together once a week at [x place] but do absolutely no socializing? I’ll buy the [coffee/food] and it will be a space to force me to do [x thing]. You literally have to do nothing other than eat the free coffee/food I pay for lol. But it will keep my accountability high, which is what I need.

    What you reckon? Can you help? Thanks!”

    Now obviously, change the language to suit you but you get the idea.

    Not only are you going to environments that will help you make changes, but by bringing a friend (or two), you make it even likelier that you will succeed. It doesn’t even have to be in person, it could be a video call.

    People fail to make changes to their lives because they try to do it all themselves.

    It doesn’t really work in long term, and it doesn’t have to be this way.

    You can recruit and “enlist” people to help you. By doing this, you’re taking care of the up and down motivation you have.

    Not only are people happy to help, when they see this type of behavior, they’re also inspired and motivated to change their lives. Pretty soon, you end up creating change in not just your life, but other people’s too.

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    So when the next dip in willpower comes?

    You have a friend sitting right next to you, watching your every move, making sure you get things done anyway.

    3. Build Good Habits That Last

    Changing your life means changing your day to day habits.

    Habits are automated behaviors you do everyday, like how a clock works, without thinking or motivating yourself to do them.

    Some habits help you to change, others can stop you. One of the best ways to replace your ‘bad’ habits with good ones is to treat them like old clothes. What happens when your t-shirt gets old, faded and out of fashion? You replace it with something new and improved.

    Do the same thing with your habits – upgrade and replace them with something better. Start small, then slowly graduate to higher levels of difficulty.

    Let me give you a clear example of what I mean:

    A few years ago (before it became mainstream), I was trying to start my own habit of meditating every single day to help boost my productivity and mindfulness. I’d done a mind blowing course called Vipassana. It involved 10 days of deeply powerful meditation combined with noble silence in a remote part of the UK.

    Now it was easy to do when I was there (#1 – environment!) with all those other meditators (#2 – people helping me). All I could do was meditate. There were ZERO distractions. I had NO CHOICE.

    When I got home however, after a few days of sticking with it, I quickly caved.

    Those extra 30 minutes of sleep were just so much easier than waking up everyday at 4am for a long one hour meditation.

    So what did I do to build this really important habit?

    Like with most things, I wanted to make changes to my life. I wanted to become my best self.

    I knew how important it was. I just couldn’t follow through consistently and kept failing over and over.

    Then, it hit me.

    I needed to start small. I made a tiny change, that made all the difference.

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    I made a tiny change, that I could stick to – without fail – that has me meditating daily every single day now.

    What was it?

    Instead of trying to do something BIG inconsistently (1 hour of 4am morning meditation) and failing again and again. I decided to do something small consistently.

    Building any good habit really just comes down to repetition. The way the brain is built works in favour of this.

    My new habit became:

    When I wake up, I will fold my bedding neatly. Then I will sit cross legged for 30 seconds with my eyes closed.

    Eventually, once I did this consistently for a few months. I increased difficulty.

    When I wake up, I will fold my bedding neatly. Then I will meditate for 10 minutes.

    Why does this work?

    What’s important here is that the behavior you want (meditating) is tied to another consistent habit (folding your bedding).

    I attached my new habit to one that already is consistent.

    Making it more likely to happen.

    Secondly, I aimed for consistency, not perfection. This is where a lot of people fail. They have an idea of the change they want, but things become all or nothing.

    When you do this, you fail to realize the power of consistency. The brain you have loves patterns. In this case, I trained my brain to repeat a set pattern every morning when I fold my bed.

    There was no motivation or willpower required.

    This training has gone so far now that if I miss a day of meditating, I really feel uncomfortable. I’m just as conditioned to meditate as most people are to checking their phones in the morning.

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    If you want to learn more about quitting bad habits, Lifehack’s CEO also has a guide on it: How to Break Bad Habits: I Broke 3 Bad Habits in Less Than 2 Months

    4. Create More Time by Limiting Your Social Media Usage

    You know the best thing I’ve ever done for my productivity and it took me 30 seconds to do?

    I deleted all social media apps from my phone and blocked them on my laptop.

    Then, to reinforce it, I told all my friends and followers on Facebook (my most used platform) I wasn’t using it for a while.

    Now, there’s nothing wrong with my social media. Social media is a tool. Tools are neutral. It’s how we use them that is “productive” or “distracting”.

    We each have to judge how healthy our usage is, especially when weighed against unlocking our best self. That said, for most people reading this, including me, I think limiting our usage is a very favorable advantage.

    One of the best ways to make changes in our lives is not to add new tools or tricks. But simply remove things that distract us.

    Social media is something I use heavily for my businesses. Technically I’m a “social media influencer” and “YouTuber”. I need to be posting constantly, right?

    Our situations are unique, so I came up with a unique solution for this. After deleting and blocking these apps from my devices, I installed a social media management software that still allows me to post my updates.

    The big difference, however, is I cannot spend any time scrolling and being distracted.

    If you need a bit of extra help for this, take a look at this article: How to Quit Social Media for a Happier and More Focused Life

    Final Thoughts

    Change is not always about more. Sometimes it’s about doing less and getting rid of what distracts or blocks you.

    Trying to do things by yourself is a good way to fail. Share your goals and pitfalls with people, no one helps until you ask.

    Start with small changes consistently instead of big changes failed at consistently. The momentum will give you results over time.

    So what to do next to make changes in your life?

    1. Write down where you are going to GO to create the changes you want.
    2. Message 3 to 4 people on social media and ask them to help you using the message template I gave you.
    3. Choose one small habit to get started with immediately and upgrade it over time.
    4. Delete all, or at least most social media apps on your devices, and notify people you are leaving to make it stick.

    More About Making Changes in Life

    Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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