How To Manage Change Effectively?

If change in life haunts you and you are least comfortable with it, then this one is for you! Many of us find it difficult to change according to situations. This is because we are in some way or the other scared of changes. Some will say that, “Oh come on, I am not scared of changes, let it come I’ll face it all”. But, speaking frankly we all get little disturbed if things don’t work as per we expected them to be.

Exactly, that’s what happens deep down we all have expectations of how things will go about in our life. But, as soon as some situations change and we find that nothing is going according to how we thought it would be and we resist changing according to it. In simple words, we resist change in our life.

Psychiatrist Elizabeth Kubler explains this beautifully in her Kubler-Ross Model. The model explains the five stages of human emotions when something changes abruptly or when human finds it difficult to cope up with the change. The five stages namely:

1) Denial: In this state, we are in the state of denial. We tend to deny whatever changes are taking place in our life. We don’t want to accept something like this can happen to us in the first place.

2) Anger: After the state of denial, there is the stage of anger. Here, we feel angry about whatever that is happening to us. We might get angry towards ourselves, towards our friends or family even when they have nothing to do with it.

3) Bargaining: Bargaining is the stage where we keep thinking about the ‘What-if situations’. What if I had behaved differently? What if I never went there? And so many more What-if questions.

4) Depression: Well, this doesn’t mean literal depression in most cases. This is the stage where we feel the depth of our sadness to the core. We can feel the pain caused to us after that change.

5) Acceptance: This is the stage where we accept the change caused in our life and we start living with it. The pain is no less at this stage, but we normalize it for ourselves.

Every person, even a monk goes through this cycle of grief when something unexpectedly changes without our will. This is normal to every human being in the world, so it is okay to feel resistant to changes because we don’t have access to what changes and how it should change in our life. But, the interesting thing is we have access as to how fast we can move through each stage.

How do we move fast through it?

It’s very simple actually. Most of it is something we unknowingly practice.

1) When in stage of ANGER: get the FACTS straight. Try to build up the facts about the situation right without judging it. We often tend to put our anger out either on the wrong person or on ourselves. Both of which doesn’t make sense and are completely wrong. So staying in tune with the facts all the time keeps us in the shadow of reality without harming ourselves or others for it.

2) When in the stage of DEPRESSION: try JOURNALLING about how you feel and what can you do to change it. This brings us to the present moment and make us focus on present. Hence, we become a part of the solution and not the problem. Journalling about the problem makes us to think more on how we can get through this change successfully.

For example: The ‘What-Why-How-What Analysis’ as I mentioned in one of my blogs.

3) When in the stage of ACCEPTANCE: try EXPERIMENTING with your life. Here, you adapt to all the changes and try to adjust according to it. You experiment with various things that works for you and makes you more clear about life. Be at an exploring mode, exploring new aspects of life.

For example: You might go for a daily walk, you start learning a new skill, etc.

Some stages might stay for less amount of time, some might take time. You might skip some stages, you might feel all of them. Whatever it is, we know we need to navigate through it. As Benjamin Franklin says ‘Change is the only constant in our life’. Change is something every person will always have to deal with in life so there is no run away from it. The one who wins against change wins the race of life.

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