Embracing Change with Confidence
I recently launched Sound Health Counseling Solutions, a private music therapy/counseling practice after 20+ years of working in a variety of mental health settings. I learned a lot about myself in this process: what I was best at doing, whom I could best serve in my community, and a vision that supported my strengths. It was through careful planning, a lot of learning, and a leap of faith that I decided to move toward this transition. I chose a path that would ultimately be more rewarding, satisfying, and that fit in and around my personal life.
Let’s face it. Change is HARD. It’s uncomfortable. It takes effort and work which is something most of us want to avoid. It can be overwhelming and lead to despair. So why do it?
The one thing that is certain is change. Friends and families change. Jobs change. Schedules change. Health changes. Routines change. We change. It’s stressful to start a new job, have parents separate or divorce, go to a different school, move to another home, meet new people, receive an unexpected diagnosis, lose a loved one, ending a relationship, or simply alter a routine that is comfortable to us.
Next time you find yourself worrying about the choices and decisions that change brings about, try these 7 tips to change your mindset.
Realize that you have power within you
You do. You control your response to change, and whether or not to accept it. You determine which thoughts to pay attention to, the perspective you take, the choices you make, and your attitude about it.
Say yes to routines
It’s easy to get overwhelmed during a life transition. Structure is good for you. Keep a routine. Eat well, exercise, do pleasurable things, relax, and sleep. Stay strong in mind and in the body. Schedule time for friends. Say no to activities and people that are a drain on your life.
Stay in the moment
Be mindful. Thinking too far into the future makes anxiety worse. It’s just not helpful. Focus on one thing and bring your mind back to the here and now. It can be your breath, a sound, an action, or simply an object in the room.
Be kind to yourself
Find a way to gratefully acknowledge the things in your life that are going well during this time. Ger rid of that critical voice (you know the one I’m talking about), and treat yourself with compassion.
Prioritize your worries.
Identify your top three worries and aim to make a plan about them. Determine how long you think it will take for them to be resolved (a few minutes, hours, days, weeks, months). Next, plan the next steps for working through them. If you can make a plan about them, now they are simply concerns.
Let go of the things beyond your control. I like to call these the what if’s, yeah-buts, or the things that haven’t happened. Try writing them down in a journal, share them with a good friend or therapist, or give away those thoughts to a higher power. Prayer can be a powerful resource to “let go” of thoughts that are overwhelming, burdensome, and that takes up a lot of energy.
Change affects everyone.
We all share battles, indecision, and insecurities. Being aware of your responses when change happens and having a willingness to do something about it will help you be a better version of yourself, and lead to a more fulfilling life.
Need more support? Contact me at Sound Health Counseling Solutions, LLC!