8 Ways to Cope with Unexpected Changes ...

We all need to find ways to cope with change, as life is full of surprises. And some of them aren't pleasant! Even positive changes can be stressful - just think of what it's like organising a wedding, or coping with first-time parenthood. So here are some helpful ways to cope with change …

1. Flexible

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One of the most important ways to cope with change is by learning to be flexible. Often we are creatures of habit, and don't like changes. But rigidly sticking to one way of seeing and doing things makes it harder to deal with alterations. So when a change occurs in your life, focus on accepting it and the changed situation.

2. See the Advantages

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At first, it may seem that an unexpected change is worrying and negative. But there is often a bright side. Let's say that your employers want to send you abroad for a few years, and you don't want to leave your friends. But maybe an increased salary will allow you to save up for a house when you couldn't otherwise afford one.

3. That's Life …

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Sometimes simple acceptance helps you to cope with changes that occur. Life is not static, and doesn't always go our way. The stress can come from worrying and being cross about the situation. Try seeing it as something that you just have to deal with.

4. Onwards and Upwards

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It can be really hard to cope with changes that we haven't instigated. Divorce, for example, has a huge emotional impact. But once the shock dies down, you can begin to move on. You may not have chosen what happened, but moving on is the only thing to do. And you often come out of it stronger.

5. Advice

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Don't be afraid to seek advice from other people. Whether or not they have direct experience of the same situation, talking to people can help you see things more clearly. They may come up with a perspective that you haven't considered, which will make it easier to cope.

6. Mourning Period

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You may need a mourning period to cope with changes that have occurred. Sometimes this is literal, but it may also be regret that a chapter in your life is ending. You may be happily moving house, but still wonder if you have done the right thing in giving up your old home. Give yourself the time you need to adjust, then move on.

7. Find Your Strength

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One way to cope with changes is to find your inner strength. It's surprising what we can handle - we are much stronger than we think. Tell yourself that you can do it, because you definitely can. Give yourself credit for being a strong woman who can deal with whatever life throws at her.

8. Look to the Future

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Changes stir up many emotions - regret, anger, sorrow. Don't get obsessed with the past; you will never be able to deal with the changes if you do. Instead, focus on the future, and make it a better one than you would otherwise have had. You can't change the past, so learn from it and look to the future.

Changes can be difficult and often arrive totally out of the blue. They are often stressful because we feel that we have no control over our own lives. But since they are an inevitable part of life, we had better learn how to deal with them! It's important to be positive and move on. What has been the biggest change in your life, and how did you cope?

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