Today we ask you not to fear change.
Almost everyone instinctively fears change. It is part of your animal nature. Animals dislike change. Small children dislike change. Adults are no different, really.
Change tends to be perceived as threatening. The adrenal system is engaged. One imagines fearful possibilities, and prepares to fight or flee. This is the case even when you consciously understand that nothing bad is happening — that you are moving into a new home, or starting a new job, or a new relationship. You may have desired this change. Nonetheless, when it comes to it, you are aflutter with nerves. You panic.
It is a good thing not to shy away from this physical sensation. Just recognize it as your body’s instinctive response to change. When the fear engages, here are a few things you should know:
- This is not a time to make any major decisions, or act impulsively. Your mind is not clear. Please wait until you feel calmer before making any important decision. You may be feeling very impulsive — but do not trust those impulses. Wait until your energy settles. Then see how you feel.
- Please pay extra attention to your body when dealing with change. This is a time to really make sure you are eating well, and resting as much as you possibly can. Exercise in order to release nervous tension. Meditate. Ground yourself. Stay away from things that amp up your nervous system — like caffeine, or stimulating things on TV or the internet. They key is to restore calm, so that you can perceive with greater clarity.
- Be very patient and loving with yourself when dealing with change. Do not pretend that “nothing is happening.” or “it’s no big deal.” It may not be a big deal, but stress is stress, panic is panic. Refusing to acknowledge it won’t make it go away.
- Be very careful not to listen to the fearful thoughts running through your consciousness at this time. Your thoughts cannot be trusted when you are in a fearful state. If you have a counselor you trust, it might be wise to check in with this person. This is why it is essential not to act impulsively during times of change.
- If you must make decisions, try to settle your mind as much as possible. Deep breathing is a good way to do this. Take at least ten long, very deep breaths before making any meaningful decision.
The fear will pass, and your body will become accustomed to the new way of being. It always happens. The animal gets accustomed to the new environment; the child gets used to being at summer camp; you settle into the new relationship. But do be gentle with yourself during transitions. Stay as conscious as you can.