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How to accept change without fear?

Abstract figures balancing, accepting changes without fear. Mindletic blog

Life can get easily too overwhelming from time to time. We tend to feel like we are used to something, but then things change. Either you feel uneasy about your new tasks at work or an unsuccessful relationship, it all works as a trigger. Due to an ever-changing environment and the fast pace of developments, we more and more often become stressed when struck with change, especially when it’s outside of our control. Subsequently, your brain alerts the entire body, and you may start feeling tense and anxious, have trouble sleeping or have digestive problems and much more. It all affects your mental and physical well-being, not to mention interpersonal relationships. It is true that change is a very individual feeling, nevertheless, organizations filled with individuals unable to cope with change are performing a little weaker. However, by strengthening one’s coping mechanisms you could easily take advantage of your next change and prevent negative effects on your and your employee’s health. Here are a few things you should know about coping mechanisms.

Coping mechanisms as such are defined as a set of purpose-oriented efforts individuals engage in to minimize the physical, psychological, or social harm of an event or situation.

Coping mechanisms are usually categorized as:

Problem-focused mechanisms, which directly address the issue causing distress. Individuals who use this approach tend to actively generate options to solve the problem in a rational manner, evaluating advantages and disadvantages before the implementation.

Emotion-focused mechanisms, which ignite individuals to act by revisiting the issue from a different emotional angle and trying to positively reinterpret the occurring events. It can directly influence insights and causal thinking, which leads to an individual, who believes that the stressor (let’s say ‘change’) is not something to be feared and could be actually positive. However, there is some evidence that emotion-focused mechanisms encourage denial and avoidance more than the other mechanisms.

Meaning-focused mechanisms, categorized as an appraisal-based coping style in which the individual draws on his or her beliefs, values, and life purposes. It includes restructuring one’s goals when things no longer work as they used to and shifting attention towards more valuable objectives. Also, it seeks to infuse ordinary events with positive meaning to facilitate positive energy for coping with upcoming changes.

Social coping (support-seeking) mechanisms are based on the idea that individuals are a part of the social environment, which could work both as a stressor and as a source of coping, such as seeking social support from others. 

These mechanisms although different but all are interconnected and sometimes work better when combined. Remember, you do not have to stick to certain methods, however, it is very useful to acknowledge them when observing your reactions to change. Acknowledgment itself already moves you further away from avoidance.

Exercises for handling change

#1 // Check out these extra tips for handling change from Harvard Business Review: https://hbr.org/2016/09/how-to-get-better-at-dealing-with-change

#2 Morning pages

Take a notebook and check-in with yourself daily. Write out an answer for the following question – “What do I need right now?” and evaluate your responses after a week. You may discover some excess needs or perhaps some of the needs will motivate you more to act!

#3 Change management exercises

If you are planning on implementing some big changes in your organization, check these exciting games and simulations that may help to motivate your employees to accept change and be more engaged: https://blog.walkme.com/7-change-management-exercises/

#4 Breathing exercises

Changes, pleasant or not, often cause emotional disbalance. In order to face it in a calm manner, sit comfortably and check out our calming methods in Mindletic app community rooms.