Skip to main content

Verified by Psychology Today

How To Deal With Change

There are many times when we have to break or alter our routines.

We all know that having a routine can be invaluable, but there are many times when we have to break or alter our routines, as our bodies and our lives are constantly in flux. In fact, change may be the only constant in the universe, and you have to learn to bend with it, or else.

Most people would seek change but really want things to stay the same. As long as we are not put out too much, we will go along with and even enjoy what’s new and different, but change can also make us deeply uncomfortable. So rather than waiting for the discomfort to set in, why not take a look at what changes are coming and get prepared for them?

Just thinking about the future can produce anxiety, because we have no real control over what is going to happen to us. That kind of change is scary to think about, so we often try to keep it out of our heads, telling ourselves that it’s pretty hard to plan anything anyway.

But planning for the future is a way to navigate through life. It’s good to think about what you want, where you want to go, and the best way to get there from where you are. As much as we fear it, change is the essence of personal growth. You really can’t do anything without some change, so it’s best to become friends with it. Fighting it is really frustrating, but if you can learn to go with it, you may be entering the time of your life.

Going from one new thing to the next as gracefully as possible is a great rule for the road. Yes, there will be upsetting changes, and then there will be really, really positive ones—whether planned or not. There is a balance to all of this, but you might have to be a little unbalanced when you’re in the middle of something happening when you least expect it. That’s part of life.

Perhaps the biggest issue with unexpected change is that we aren’t ready for it, whether good or bad. Most people have their lives running as well as they can, and they don’t want anything mucking up their journey, but the truth is if something doesn’t change, nothing else will.

If you want your life to stay like it is, that’s pretty awesome, because you must have a good life. All I’m suggesting is that you accept the fact of change and make appropriate preparations for what you see coming and also save for the rainy day when something less expected arrives.

This isn’t a “when life hands you lemons, make lemonade” thing. It’s more a “you’re gonna get squeezed, so best be prepped” thing. It’s okay to feel a little squeamish about moving your life forward, but it’s a lot better to go with it than to be left behind.

More from Barton Goldsmith Ph.D.
More from Psychology Today
More from Barton Goldsmith Ph.D.
More from Psychology Today