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Tips for Visualizing as You Embrace Change
Dr. Dale V. Atkins, July 2013

Some people like change. Others don't. You may be someone who likes some change, but only in specific areas of your life.

Each of us has our own unique way to approach and deal with change. And like it or not, we can be confident that change is a constant in our life. A change in life circumstances, whether positive or negative, is something that initially may knock us off-balance as we wonder how we are going to get through it. We may resist, deny, or embrace the change. We may ask: "What does this mean?" "Why did this happen?" "How will I adjust?" "Whom else will this affect?" "How do I find my way?" "Is there an underlying reason for this?" "Can there be an opportunity here?"

When something comes your way that you didn't foresee, get back on track by trying the following tips:

When There is Change There is Loss. - We can remind ourselves that we will likely experience feelings of loss. We can try to avoid making assumptions about the future, spinning fear-based stories about how things will be. We need to do what we can to stay present in our feelings, and move through the loss which will likely allow us to, ultimately, feel less overwhelmed, and see possibilities and opportunities.

Call on Your Friends and Family. - The support of people close to us is critical as we go through change. But if the people we thought we could count on are preoccupied with their own lives, or do not understand the impact of this change, we need to seek other forms of support such as counseling, coaching, support groups, organizations, and online forums. Going through change alone is often more difficult.

Keep Healthy Routines in Place. - Eating sensibly, exercising regularly, taking time for reflection, participating in meaningful rituals, can all help to reinforce a sense of control while we feel our life is in a state of flux. The simplest routine or ritual can help us feel grounded during a time of confusion.

Visualize and Adjust. - We can, throughout the day, breathe deeply as we quietly visualize ways we can creatively adjust to this change in our life. Creating a comforting mental picture help us to embrace the change. Breathing and using visualization techniques are powerful and effective "companions" to approach uncertainty, face our fears, and adapt to the unknown. By practicing these techniques, we can more likely adapt to the change in a healthy way, and see the opportunities and benefits that will come to us if we are open to them.

Remember, three Bs when you face challenges brought on by change: 1) Breathe; 2) Balance; and 3) Benefit.

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