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How to Roll with Life’s Changes

How we manage stress can make a huge difference in our health and well-being. If we don’t manage it, if we allow it to manage us, we can experience various physical and emotional side effects, such as:

  • Anger, fear, helplessness, anxiety
  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Pain in your head, neck, jaw and back
  • Overeating, overdrinking, smoking, drug abuse

The goal, then, is for us to manage the stress of life changes, instead of letting it get to us. We want to become RESILIENT, adaptable in the face of adversity. Even if you do not consider yourself a naturally resilient person, these skills can be developed.

Here are some ways to become more resilient:

  • Maintain connections. Relationships with family and friends, accepting help and support from those who care about you, strengthens resilience. Being active in civic groups and faith-based organizations can also provide social support for those times you are in need.
  • Accept that change is a part of living. Certain goals may no longer be attainable as a result of adverse situations. Accepting this can help you focus on the circumstances that you can alter. Ask yourself, “What’s one thing I know I can accomplish today?”
  • Look for self-discovery. People often learn something about themselves and may find that they have grown in some respect as a result of their struggle or loss.
  • Nurture a positive view of yourself. Developing confidence in your ability to solve problems and trusting your instincts helps build resilience.
  • Keep things in perspective. Avoid blowing the event out of proportion.
  • Maintain a hopeful outlook. Optimism enables you to expect that good things will happen in your life. Try visualizing what you want, rather than worrying about what you fear.
  • Take care of yourself. Engage in activities that you enjoy and find relaxing. Exercise regularly and eat well. Taking care of yourself helps to keep your mind and body primed to deal with situations that require resilience.
  • Additional ways of strengthening resilience may be helpful. For example, journaling, meditation and spiritual practices can help build connections and restore hope.

The key is to identify ways that are likely to work well for you as part of your own personal strategy for fostering resilience. Then, when change comes, as you know it will, you will be ready, as REO Speedwagon put it, “to roll with the changes.”

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