Coping With Winds Of Change

Life is Unpredictable

Can you relate to any of the following scenarios?

  • You are driving on the highway to work and your car gets a puncture! What is your instinctual reaction? Do you become angry and frustrated? 
  • You find yourself in the middle of war in your country, and you eventually end up as a refugee in a United Nations Shelter.
  • One of your parents suddenly leave’s for the heavenly abode.
  • You set out to achieve a profession you dreamed of and end up in a totally different one.

These are just a few possibilities from an endless list of events that can happen to any one in life.

Yes, there are countless examples from your own lives that transitioned you or a friend or a loved one to an unexpected path! Are you disillusioned by the new pattern of climate change?

Changes are never without stress but some amount of stress is perhaps necessary. A stress that drives you to succeed in a self-sustaining activity is actually productive.

Change is Inevitable 

I am certain you have come across the poet Heraclitus’s famous saying “No man ever steps in the same river twice, for it's not the same river and he’s not the same man.” Let us therefore agree that everything is in a state of change.  People at certain phases of life show less tolerance to change and a major change can devastate them mentally when one is ill-prepared.

Some of us spend many hours in deep longing for something like one’s home, lost places of the past or even loved ones that are not reachable anymore and I must admit it drowns us in a string of nostalgic thoughts forever. We realized many scenes have changed and many loved ones are gone.. It is all about change.

Fear Of Outcome

Quite honestly, I came to terms with so many changes in my life through a whole process. This involved allowing my mind to experience the negative feelings brought about by the change, and by the fear of the unknown new situation. This was followed by bucking up courage to accept the new situation and honing in on the most suitable one of the new options that presented themselves to me at the time.

After retirement I had to make a hard choice to hop onto another executive job offer in Nairobi or to accept a job offer in New York. Once my decision was made, I found myself on a flight heading to JFK in New York. Choosing New York meant a total 360 degree turn, shunning  away a cozy, executive lifestyle in the heart of tropical Africa and accepting the cold, temperate climate in the Big Apple! Many boats had to be burnt and blinders adorned to help stay the course.

Life has taught me to take a positive approach to new challenges, coaxing my mind to foster good feelings towards the storms of life as they crop up from time to time and to maintain a hopeful demeanor.  

The Approach

In my previous blog we spoke about mind and body boosters. May I kindly ask you to read about them and how you can benefit from these chemical friends to boost your morale and energy demands when faced with difficult challenges brought about by a change?

One routine that I have stuck to for several years is to find time for physical activity and for me this is , usually an early morning jog while listening to the sweet sounds of the early morn, including that of birds chirping away, adding a ton of joy to the activity. 

Stress from new changes can create cravings, eating more carbs such as candies and cookies, as sugar can boost Serotonin levels that get depleted by stress. Guess this is fine if done in moderation.

In some situations due to new changes in a family setup where for instance, one goes from a house full of folks to just being alone by yourself, loneliness and anxiety that set in can cause ill mental and physical health including cancers. 

That’s the time to indulge in your favorite music, practice yoga, walk, jog, go for a swim and meet close friends to raise your Oxytocin levels.

Now let us have your thoughts too!