Managing: Change and new beginnings
New beginning can be found everywhere and anywhere you look. If you go by the Mindful philosophy, every moment is a new beginning! (That’s kind of hard to fully comprehend isn’t it?!) But new beginnings are something we all experience consistently throughout our lives.
But not all new beginnings are the same. There are lots of types of new beginnings we experience when you think about it:
There is the brave new beginning, the beginning we instigate. Eg a new job, moving home or even country, the choice to end a relationship or start one, deciding to start a family, learning or trying something new. Etc.
There is the renewal type of new beginnings. One where we decide to refresh, re-motivate and make smaller changes. Eg, Taking up an activity we once loved but stopped, a proactive changing of mindset, an emotional cleansing or release, updating or reorganising the house, garden, work systems, making a conscious decision and effort to have good nutrition, to exercise, to meditate, to socialse more, to socialise less, to go after an abandoned goal. Etc.
And then there is perhaps the hardest of new beginnings. Forced Change. Eg death of a loved one, ending of a relationship not on our terms, redundancy, going to a new school, losing a home, loss of health or ability. Etc.
I’m sure you can think of lots of other examples, and sometimes these examples will fit into more than one category.
So I’m going to work with philosophies and practices Evolution Wellness teaches (meditation, mindfulness, positive psychology, CBT, mental health management) to approach the subject of ‘New beginnings’ this month. In this blog we will look at:
Dealing with ‘Forced’ change
How to get the most from new beginnings
Dealing with ‘Forced change’ new beginning
We can’t control life (Unless you’re playing The Sims…) and sometimes new beginnings are forced on us. Without permission, we find ourselves thrust upon a new path we weren’t anticipating, totally knocking us off our feet and turning our world upside down in the process! Depending on what you’re going through depends how exactly to deal with it, but broadly speaking, here are some great ways of dealing with the New beginnings that weren’t chosen.
Start where you are- Whoever you are and whatever you’ve been through before, have given you a set of experiences and strength at your disposal. This is you arsenal to draw on for going through difficult new beginnings. Exercise: Write down your top 5 personal strengths (Eg humour, kind, brave, analytical, honest, etc) and then write down how they can be utilised in your current situation. Then write down 5 external strengths (Eg, income, mum, best friend, the gym, good weather etc.) and write how they can be of use or support. Then each day, write down how you’ve utilised them to your advantage. EG Monday- Went to the gym. It took my mind off of things and I came out feeling much clearer mentally and a bit less anxious. I slept well as a result!
Accept- New beginnings can sometimes come with a sense of loss or a grieving process, and it’s important for our mental and physical wellbeing, that we allow ourselves to go through that and to feel it. Take your time and don’t rush it. Wishing you weren’t here only builds on feelings of regret, anger and upset, prolonging and intensifying the pain.
Only do what you can- Don’t burn yourself out. Try to pace yourself, be realistic about what you’re striving for and above all be kind to you! You’re doing the best you can.
Ask for help- Many of us don’t ask for help when we need it. There can be many reasons but be brave. Learning to recognise when we need to reach out and actually asking is an important life lesson.
Lean in to pleasure- when life is feeling a bit pants bring out the truffle pig! (Metaphorically speaking) Exercise: Start seeking out everything and anything good in life right now that is in anyway positive. Get obsessive about rooting out the good stuff in life. Even if it seems silly.
Warning: this practice can become an addictive practice and make you feel a happiness overload.
Meditate, and specifically, visualise- Meditation can help us cope with the hardest of times in life. It’s good for the body and mind, helping to manage stress, depression, the grieving process, creative thinking, and problem solving…the list goes on but specifically visualise. Exercise: Get yourself as relaxed as possible, then visualise yourself on the other side of your current situation. Build that mental picture as clear as you can make it. Mentally employ all your senses to get involved in creating a rich tapestry of mental cinematography! See yourself as you want to be, imagine you’re feeling as you wish to feel, watch yourself getting through various situations. I won’t bore you with the science in this blog, but if it’s good enough for Wayne Rooney, it’s good enough for us!
Practice mental resilience skills. (See mental resilience blog) Hard times are also the BEST times for personal growth (I know, I know. Its pants but apparently you can’t create a diamond without pressure ‘an all that.)
Renewal often happens naturally, but sometimes we need to instigate it to prevent stagnation.
So what is the pre-requisite of renewal? Reflection and contemplation! The one of the best questions to ask is ‘Am I happy with X?’. ‘X’ being your job, your nutrition, your hairstyle…you get the idea. If the answer is yes, perfect! Leave it be. If the answer is no, then it’s time to address and renew!
I’m not good at advising on renewals such as insurance and phone contracts but talk to me about the spiritual, emotional, physical or mental kind and I’m your lady!
Step 1: Get inspired Whatever it is you’re renewing, you need to stoke that fire, that desire, that want and motivation! So go seek your inspiration and bottle that stuff up like it’s a mineral water factory!
Step 2: Start learning or revising To achieve your renewal, you might need to take on some more skills, or brush up on some older ones.
Step 3: Set goals I’m a big fan of goal setting (Within reason) and know from both personal and professional experience, those that set themselves goals in a SMART fashion and apply some grit, are 80% more likely to achieve them.
Step 4: Be accountable/ get a coach We all need our own personal motivator for when our internal one gets tired! Having that person whom we are accountable to, who will give us a little push or encouragement (or butt kicking) when we need it is invaluable. We are much more likely to achieve our targets when we have that support. It can be a friend, a family member, or better yet, someone that is specially trained as a coach in the area you’re working on! (And don’t think I say that because I am one (of sorts) or that I’m above needing one myself. I’m not! In fact, I have two! And they are priceless in the value they give me when it comes to reaching my personal goals!)
Brave new beginnings; making the most of new starts
Brave new beginnings are the ones where you have made a conscious choice to start something new. That doesn’t mean they can’t feel scary, overwhelming, nerve-wracking or make you feel anxious!! But generally these are the new beginnings we’ve chosen for ourselves.
So how can we get the most out of them?
Be mindful- be present for this journal. I know if it’s exciting the temptation can be to skip ahead and be forever focused on the future, but try and sit with where you are now. Enjoy the experience and fully soak it all up.
Record it- Take photos, journal about it, find a way to capture it! This could eventually be a fond memory to look back on or a lesson to learn from.
Don’t rush! When we start something new, it can be REALLY exciting! We just get want to get there, we just want to achieve, we’re full of enthusiasm and ready to make whatever it is a success! But slow down. Be considered, map out what you need to do to make this a success and pace yourself so you don’t get burnt out.
Be open, create opportunities. Be brave. You’ve got this! Love and Light, Anna #growthforlife © Evolution Wellness 2019 facebook: /evolutionwellnessuk Instagram: /evolutionwellnessuk Tags:#growthforlife #evolutionwellnessuk
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