Learn to cope with change

Coping with change

Some people can cope with change better than others but there are certain life changes that are stressful for everybody. If you haven’t done so already, try the Holmes and Rahe table here. Your total is an indication of how much change you have gone through in the last year.

If you scored highly, it follows that you have experienced a lot of very significant changes in your life recently.

This is not uncommon. People are now experiencing changes in more than just one part of their lives as a result of much bigger changes going on in the world. Environmental changes like global warming have added the worry of skin cancer to the daily lives of people living in hot climates.

Competition between companies is greater which means big businesses have to respond to market demands much quicker than in the past. Changes in technology mean that communication is faster and more effective, so we learn news of other countries quickly and can mobilise an equally rapid response.

With technology have come portable phones and computers which allow us to work from home or while travelling large distances from our offices. Families have had to become more mobile and have to be prepared to relocate. More people work to short contracts or are self-employed and the notion of a job for life has all but disappeared.

The idea of an upwardly mobile career is disappearing too, as people recognise that they may have a number of different jobs and may have to develop different skills throughout their lifetimes. No doubt you will be able to think of many more changes that could be influencing you.

Dealing with change

Any change brings with it a degree of uncertainty. And because we lack information about the future, we tend to deal with it by holding on to what we know of the past in order to make sense of it. We do this in a number of stages.

We may look on the dark side of the picture and become anxious and panicky about what might lie in store.   We may also try to surmise about the future by talking to friends, colleagues and family about their expectations. This can create a grapevine effect whereby rumour, which we all know is frequently inaccurate, is passed round creating further anxiety to everyone concerned.

Next up, we’ll learn how to manage change.

How to manage change >>

Text Copyright © Alix Needham
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