Sometimes life can often look and feel like a roller coaster ride. When our life has been turned upside down, for whatever reason, we might feel confused and lost. In today’s article, we will look at the most appropriate attitude to carry during periods of chaos and, also, how to develop our ability to face change throughout our life. What steps can we take when we are faced with big changes? How do we adapt to new situations without unnecessary suffering?
When you are confronted with a big change in your life, no matter the nature of the change, it can be very difficult to accept. Your reference points are turned upside down, your habits swept away, and you can sometimes experience a feeling of despair. Whether you took the initiative to make this change or if it was something that was forced upon you, it can be challenging to feel at peace again. The very first thing to do, when your life is turned upside down, is to look at the facts:
You might be experiencing something big and brand new in your life. Even though this might seem obvious, it’s important to recognize. It is often difficult to realize the importance of what we are enduring because we are swept in the whirlwind that this change is bringing into our lives.
If you are reading this while going through a major life change, take a moment (ideally in a quiet place where you can have some privacy) to say to yourself, “My life has been turned upside down. I feel…” . Complete this sentence with the first word that comes from the deepest part of your heart. Don’t be afraid of the strong emotions that might arise. Laugh, cry, yell, smile…let yourself experience these feelings fully. It’s only when you are completely mindful about your emotions and you can move towards a renewed sense of balance. Accepting that you are going through a process and period of internal chaos will help you to feel at peace.
Social pressure, the impressions of others, the need to appear strong…all of these things can make you quick to say you’re ok and have a good grasp on the situation, even if you feel lost. I would like to remind you: it’s ok not to feel strong, to feel totally lost, or shaken up. It’s not a bad thing and is actually, most often, quite healthy to know and recognize these strong emotions.
We are human. We all experience these emotions without exception. And you know what? Expressing your feelings is also beneficial for others, because you invite them to do the same. Be open to feeling your emotions fully and this way you will be able to go through the storm. If you allow these emotions to move through you, they will continue to flow, leaving you stronger and more in tune with yourself.
Once you make peace with your feelings and accept that you feel out of balance because of a new reality, you can face the challenge of change. The question is, how will you face this change?
Visualizations are exercises that can help those who are going through a difficult situation. They are tools that help us imagine ourselves as if we had already weathered the storm.
To do this, you can take a pencil and a piece of paper and write what you imagine what resolution will look like. For example, “Once I’ll feel at peace with this change, I’ll be, I’ll do…” . By considering that you will one day be at peace with what is changing, you can effectively encourage yourself through the process.
It’s also important to focus on the fact that any change is an opportunity for growth. It’s obvious that some changes are harder to accept than others, especially when they are sudden and not fully understood. However, in each case, a reliable truth remains: the end of one thing is the beginning of another. In this way, it will get easier to see the possibility of something positive occurring with any event.
As Buddhists say, one of the greatest causes of suffering is our reluctance towards accepting change. By nature, life is ever evolving, and impermanence is probably the most accurate way to describe it. As you probably know very well, life is simply a succession of moments that feel balanced and out of balance at times. If we don’t learn to live with this reality, we can create much of our own suffering. It can become easy to feel unsettled in our day-to-day and to have a very hard time finding stability when life balances back out.
Thankfully, you have this ability to adapt to change. A perfect metaphor of adaptation to change is the image of reeds. Reeds have the unique ability to bend under the strongest winds without ever breaking. They are solid, yet very flexible, which is precisely what gives them their strength. You have a similar flexibility to survive the constant, and sometimes dramatic, changes that can arise throughout your life.
One of the most efficient ways of learning to adapt to change is, of course, practicing meditation. It reveals the vastness of your strength, showing how to unravel yourself from the limiting thoughts that tell you that you weren’t capable of survival in various situations. Meditating does not tell you not to react to what is happening. On the contrary, with practice, it teaches how to respect and give importance to your emotions, all the while, understanding their ever-changing nature. Therefore, with patience and benevolence, you can extract yourself from the avalanche of your emotions and learn ways of being that allow you to come out stronger from your experiences.
Because certain aspects of life are sometimes difficult to overcome, it’s important to always remember that you have powerful tools that will help you thrive and learn from your experiences. In any case, during these life events, it is of the utmost importance to take good care of yourself, maybe even better than usual.
So tell us…How do you manage to overcome changes that happen suddenly in your life? Do you have any advice that you would like to share with all of us to better face change? We would love to read what you have to share in the comments section below!
Translation by: Stella Debiaggi