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How to deal with big changes in your life

Freaking out a little bit because you suddenly learn your job is changing, your best friend is relocating, or you are pregnant? It doesn't matter what the big change is, our bodies experience some degree of shock, often both physiologically and psychologically, when a chapter of our story is being written for us, rather than by us. It is human nature to want to be in some degree of control and therefore, it is human nature to experience some discomfort when this control feels out of reach.

So what do we do? Whether through self-reflection, help from a trusted friend, or some short-term counseling, consider moving through the following steps:

1. Identify the pros/cons about the big change. How could this be good? What feels scary?

2. Identify what parts of the change you have control over and what parts you do not. Choose to not focus needless energy on things you cannot control. Instead, focus your energy on things you can.

3. Practice self-care. As already stated, we don't like not being in control and therefore, letting go of some of the elements we cannot control is going to create stress. To deal with that stress, find a healthy outlet. Exercise, meditate, engage in social events, or participate in community service.

4. Re-frame the parts of the change you identified as "negative." Could these "negative" things potentially turn in to positives? Be willing to entertain the fact that there may be a more positive outcome than you can see right now.

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