By: Ginny Vose, Mental Health Counselor with JCAC
Facing & Embracing Change
This morning, as I was getting ready to see a couple of clients, I walked past my newly framed 2020 tassel (I recently graduated my masters program for counseling). I was amazed as I began to contemplate just how much my life had changed over the past few years. My journey to become a counselor started 3 years ago when I realized that the job description for my former career was no longer what I had signed up for. I chose to take a leap, go back to school at age 45 and make another path for myself.
Change is Unavoidable.
I have heard it said that change is the one thing that you can count on in life. For many, dealing with change is dreaded as it approaches and is hard once it has happened. I know that, thanks to the virus, there are many of us that already have or will soon be dealing with change. You could have to change jobs, homes, and we all face the change of life as you once knew it. You may already have begun to feel the anxiety that comes with change. Is there a way to make the changes happen more easily? Since change happens to all of us, is there a way to embrace it?
Why Change is Hard
Our brains are actually wired to make us creatures of habit. The neurons in your brain that fire together, wire together. Thus, a habit is born. The more we do something, the stronger the neuronal circuit becomes. This can be great for the positive habits that we have already established, such as eating healthy food or exercising. But it can make facing change much more difficult. However, the good news is that you can always make a new neurological path. To do this, make a decision to set your mind on the changes that you want to make and then make the change. Just by altering your thinking about change, you can wire your brain and help that change go down a little easier.
The Dos and Don’ts of Navigating Change
get caught up in what I call the “What ifs”. They are the questions that run through our head as we consider change. What if I make a mistake? What if I make the wrong choice? What if I regret the choices that I made that led to this change? What if I fail? So many of the “What ifs” in life never even happen. Instead of focusing on the “What ifs”, try focusing on “What is”. By reframing your thinking to what you know to be true and real, some of the anxiety that you feel about change may dissipate enough for you to be able to take that first step.
Get trapped in all or nothing thinking. When you are planning out steps to take in order to change, avoid making goals that can lead to a no-win situation. “If this change doesn’t work then it means that I can’t do it!” As you are making a change in your life, there may be times that you run into a roadblock. The new job that you had your heart set on falls through or you find out that the loan that you need is just not going to come through right now. Never give up on the whole plan simply because one small part fell through. If you run into a roadblock, take a step back, regroup, and start again.
Trust in your ability to face the change ahead. Remind yourself of the change you have successfully faced in the past, similar to my thoughts in the first paragraph.
Keep a journal of how you feel every day, it will change every day! It is so helpful to look back 2 weeks ago, 2 months ago, and see how much you have grown through the changes you face.
Use the support of emotionally healthy family and friends. Change is hard. Change is harder alone.
If you are facing a change today that is overwhelming, or you faced something in the past you cannot get past. We are here to help! Set up a time to talk to a counselor to see how we can support you!
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Johns Creek and Alpharetta Counseling (#JCAC) is a warm and family orientated counseling practice in Alpharetta, Ga. We offer online counseling services in the states of Georgia and Florida. We offer in-office counseling service at our Alpharetta office which is conveniently located to serve Johns Creek, Milton, Roswell, and Cumming, Ga.
The JCAC Counselors specialize in counseling services throughout the lifespan! We offer play therapy, counseling for children, parental support, adolescent counseling, mental health services, couples counseling, premarital therapy, and individual counseling for adults.
To learn more about our practice, click here!
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