We often hear change is beneficial. We might never experience new things if we did not allow for change. Small changes: no sweat, but, greater changes such as starting a new job, moving across the country, or importantly losing someone we love, prove arduous. Day-to-day routines and familiar places provide comfort as we can predict how we will feel, even if it borders on boring.
One may wonder the reasons some people embrace change, thriving through the bumps and bruises, while others struggle with a new toothbrush, let alone a new job or significant change in life’s experiences or surroundings.
New experiences causes stress, whether you embrace it or dread it. According to Psychology Today, one-third of all people flourish when presented with life changes. This group, defined by psychologist Salvatore Maddi, is the adaptive third. In Maddi’s research on change, he discovers that the adaptive thirdsegment tends to think about things differently in regards to change. This segment rarely reflects or looks back to wonder why things happen. Rather, they chose to propel forward and think,“Ok, what can I do now?” This behavior is what Maddi identifies as effective and creates change of value!
According to Mathew E. May, Neuroplasticity is the mind’s ability to change the brain. Extensive studies by neuroscientists confirm that our mental machinations do alter the physical structure of our brain matter. So, when you change your mind, you change your brain. This is great news for most of us!
Although some degree of innateness is present, psychologists identify methods we can adopt to adjust views on change that may produce success when change is inevitable:
Practice self-reflection: Reflect to identify our feelings and thoughts about change, in general and specifically when great change is present. Identifying the underlying personal challenges you are truly facing provides time to bring to reality potential tools and solutions. When we set aside time to process through how we feel and specifically what faces us, we tend to realize that what’s ahead can be accomplished and may provide growth in an area needed.
Approach new situations with courage: We are what we believe! When you approach a new situation, believe you are strong, capable, and worthy! No one can be a better you, than you. If fear of the unknown is your challenge, prepare as best as you can, and move forward.
Make optimism a priority: We all know developing a positive attitude makes life easier. So for what reasons do doom and gloom continue to sneak in? Optimism is a choice we have to continuously make. According to Dr. Christopher W. Korn, psychologists have documented human optimism for decades. With many studies confirming: Pessimistic people tend to view problems as internal, unchangeable, and pervasive, whereas optimistic people are the opposite. Pessimism has been linked with depression, stress, and anxiety (Kamen & Seligman, 1987), whereas optimism has been shown to serve as a protective factor against depression, as well as a number of serious medical problems, including coronary heart disease (Tindle et al., 2009). Few outcomes are more important than staying alive, and optimism is linked to life longevity. That said, instead of dreading life after a change, consider it a chance for growth. Think of a it as a learning experience that will provide future knowledge.
Perspectives represents voices from the research industry, academia, and medicine. Our intent is to provide a collective news feed for elite professionals interested in market research diligence. Brevity and relevance is our mantra. Look for Perspectives in your inbox every other Tuesday. We promise to deliver compelling and brief content to provoke and enlighten.
With respect and gratitude,
Barbara & your research team