Change is inevitable. It can also be unsettling. It is also part of life. Why do so many of us do get angry when things change? Firstly, change often take us by surprise. We aren’t ready for it. In the words of Baz Luhrmann, “The real troubles in your life are apt to be things that never crossed your worried mind. The kind that blindsides you at 4 p.m. on some idle Tuesday”. Secondly, change is unsettling. We find that we can no longer rely on the familiar comforts and certainties of life. We are forced to adapt to new circumstances. Finally, and this is a biggie, we are forced to acknowledge that nothing stays the same, and we often find ourselves dealing with some level of loss. Whether it is about the loss of our way of life, or our youth, or our loved ones, change can be unbearably sad. Fundamentally, nothing lasts for ever.
When change is inevitable we have two choices. We can either struggle against it or we can accept it. Struggling is very human, but unfortunately this can increase our level of suffering. Acceptance is our best bet, although it certainly isn’t easy. This is where some phrases, such as, “It is what it is”, and “Everything happens for a reason”, can be helpful. It is also about making room for the uncomfortable feelings instead of struggling to push them away.
Acceptance doesn’t mean just rolling over and giving in. Truly accepting change can be paradoxically empowering. We can still accept the new changes and do what needs to be done.
Learning the skills of acceptance is one of the key parts of a new CBT and mindfulness based approach, called Acceptance and Commitment Therapy.
For NHS funded therapy for anger, anxiety or depression, phone (01208) 871905 or register online [HERE]