Mental Health
Jul 16, 2024

The Nature of Change

As people, we enjoy comfort, routine and a sense of safety, but what happens when it is disrupted? When we decide to change? We may experience both positive and negative, physical and psychological changes too.

Change is essential and is part of life, and sometimes uncontrollable. We tend to enjoy change that we can consciously control, however, change that is forced upon us is often unwelcomed and is likely to leave a sour taste between those imposing change and those that change is affecting. This tends to create a lag between the implementation of a change and the acceptance of it. To work through this, we can develop psychological factors that surround change.

Let's start from the beginning. It is important to understand that we do not fear change, instead we like comfort, and sometimes we may feel scared to step into the unknown. We may not like our current state and feel we need to make changes, but if there is no desired state to aspire to, change becomes redundant. Being unable to envision what life will be like after the transformation, decreases our motivation.

Change is scary because it means going out of our “known” zone, even though this zone is not making us feel much comfort anymore. The key question for me when it comes to change are the feelings and the physiological cues. How are you feeling with your current situation? Do you feel like any change would improve the quality of your life?

Changing means movement, and we should learn attitudes and capabilities to be able to move through the changes in a more functional and sustainable way.

If we feel like making changes, for example, healthier habits or routines, making little changes and baby steps can help us, allowing us to connect with the benefits of the changes and envisioning the advantages of it. Making too many changes at once can break the focus and confuse us. Linking two or more changes together, failure in one may make us abandon the other, especially in the beginning.

Psychologically, change is learning, whenever anybody needs to do something different, they need to learn how to do it differently. What that means is that there are certain capabilities that need to be developed in order for change to work.

Change requires resisting well-established behavioural patterns that have been created previously, which means that we will be working to create new patterns, this is working against unconscious, automatic processes in the brain that are designed to make life easier. So this is why the key component in change is keeping the focus back on oneself and the benefits, making conscious choices and practicing mindful and awareness about those patterns. When we accept change is part of life and we embrace it, we allow ourselves to feel the range of emotions that comes with it.

Whether we decide or feel we need to make changes, or if changes comes along in life, acceptance and focus are big key components.

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