How To Accept & Cope With Uncomfortable Change (During Times Of Crisis)

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How To Accept & Cope With Uncomfortable Change

Coping with change is uncomfortable. It brings up feelings that most of us would rather avoid.

But everyone experiences life changes. How you get through this is by learning to accept and move through those events.

As with anything you want to escape, you hide from the emotions that rise up in the face of uncertainty. You stuff them as far down as you can until you falsely assume you’ve got them under control.

And then — usually when you least expect it and at the most inopportune time — fear, guilt, regret, and shame bubble up, causing you to boil over.

RELATED: 4 Strategies To Build Resilience & Find Peace In Stressful Times

Those feeling have got to go somewhere.

Have you been on the rollercoaster ride that comes next? Ups and downs, twists and turns, gradual inclines, and rapid descents, hairpin bends, and loop-de-loops.

Gut-wrenching and uncomfortable, right?

So, how do you accept change and cope with all the uncomfortable stuff that comes with it? 

Here are 10 ways to accept and cope with uncomfortable change during times of crisis.

1. Decide how you'll perceive the change.

When change happens and everything seems to be going wrong, it’s easy to feel as if it’s all happening to you. You might react quickly, jump to the wrong conclusions, or blame others.

But what if the change was happening for you?

2. Change the way you look at it.

Shifting your perspective may take but a small tweak in thinking to make it work. Examine your situation. Become an objective observer.

What do you see differently?

Ask yourself a question: What if it was your idea? What would you do then? This two-millimeter shift can set you on a very different course.

3. Control what you can.

And let the rest go. Easier said than done, you say? True, however, there's so much outside of your control. And trying to control everything will take you down a rabbit hole that's hard to climb out of.

Accepting that fact will make it easier for you to notice what is within your control. That’s where your real power lies.

4. Address triggers and challenge the impact.

What caused the change in your life? And how did you react?

You may not be able to control what happened, but you can choose how you respond to it. You can meet even the most devastating life events with resilience after giving yourself time for the shock to subside.

It’s a choice you can make, and you may need some help to find new ways to respond that allow you to challenge the impact and move forward.

5. Determine the desired outcome.

Once you discover new ways to address change, you will begin to realize that you can plan for the result you want to achieve.

Create a vision that includes who you want to become on the other side of the changed circumstances, so you can land where you want to be. Taking an active role in this process ensures that your vision manifests in reality.

Now that you’ve spent some time exploring ways to accept life-altering moments, let’s look at how you can cope with the painful aspects of change...

6. Learn to accept the painful aspects.

Given a choice, who wouldn’t pick pleasure over pain? The fact is, there are many painful things in life, like it or not. And pretending they don’t affect you or ignoring that they exist, is a behavior that will eventually come back to haunt you.

Acceptance versus avoidance is a better option when you are coping with change. Once you’ve accepted that things are different, you can decide to look for the good parts.

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7. Emotions need motion.

If you don’t deal with them, they will deal with you. Finding positive ways to allow that rollercoaster of emotions to flow through you is a great coping mechanism.

Different techniques may work better at different times.

Let yourself cry. Talk it out with someone you trust. Take a walk or a run and expend pent-up energy.

Discover what works for you in various situations, so you can muddle through until you start to feel better.

8. Determine what your outcome could really be.

What’s the worst that can happen? This is a great question to ask yourself when your situation feels bleak and you can't see the light at the end of the tunnel.

Start by thinking about the worst because, in almost every case, you will notice that it’s unlikely to be the outcome.

Then, flip the question. What is the best ending you can imagine? Focus on that.

9. Find the silver lining.

I firmly believe there is always something to be grateful for in even the most distressing life events. You may need to get a bit creative at first, but it’s a worthy effort to seek the good in the changes you’re experiencing.

It will help you to build the faith that you will be okay and believe that you are strong enough — and getting stronger — as you spend time in gratitude.

10. Don’t just sit still — take action.

When you're hopeful, it’s easier to move forward. You can take small steps at first.

Get curious about what could happen if you looked at your situation differently. When you think about the problems as challenges, then you can become a solution-finder.

Challenge the status quo as you go, and move beyond coping.

It won’t be long before you’ll look back and see that you have survived this one. The next goal is to thrive despite all the adversity you’ve experienced.

There is nothing you can do to stop life from changing. But you can choose what you do when it happens.

The more often you face uncertainty with bold action, the more resilient you become, and change becomes familiar. You’ve been here before. It didn’t kill you last time, so it’s unlikely to take you out now.

Whether you recognize it or not, these experiences have created a tolerance for change, and you have become more resilient.

Wear that as a cloak — your resilience cloak. Every time change threatens to take you out at the knees, put your cloak on. It’s the gift that comes from living a life of change.

Now, no one will argue that change doesn’t bring about stress, uncertainty, and probably fear. And managing all those emotions is vital.

But what if you could design your rollercoaster ride through those feelings? Where do you want to land on the other side? Who do you want to be when you get there? What if you created a masterful ride that is the envy of everyone?

The theme that underlies all of these tips is choice. It's in your power to choose, and these are the kind of choices you get to make. You can adapt to change and not only survive the discomfort, but learn to thrive along the way.

One final thought: It is much easier to accept and cope with uncomfortable change when you surround yourself with trusted people. They will provide a shoulder to cry on when needed, an objective point of view, and advice, so you can weigh options thoroughly.

The days of the lone wolf are gone.

Reach out and partner with your colleagues, clergy, or coach to help you move through this change with more ease and grace.

RELATED: 6 Ways To Build Emotional Resilience & Mental Strength When Facing Adversity

In addition to sharing tips on topics like accepting and coping with change, María Tomás-Keegan, Certified Career & Life Coach, helps amazing women restore their confidence and rebound with resilience when life events suddenly turn their world upside down. Access all the resources she creates by signing-up for her newsletter and visiting her website.