How To Be Comfortable With Change. Hello everyone, I hope you are well. In today’s post, I will be sharing a guest post from Sid Madge. Sid will be sharing five simple ways to be comfortable with change. Sid Madge is the founder of Meee, which draws on the best creativity and thinking. The worlds of psychology, neuroscience, branding, education, and sociology help people achieve extraordinary lives.
Be it new seasons, new jobs, new homes, new schools, or new terms; change is endless, so we may as well get comfortable with it. I’m a great believer in instant change, little ‘micro-moments of learning or adaptation that allow us to actively take charge of our situation and emotions, reset and bring more of our best to help ourselves and others. Each micro-moment intervention is designed to be actionable in a minute, and I’ve written three books on these micro-moments for life, work and family.
How To Be Comfortable With Change
Here are five simple ways to cope with change and build resilience in just a few minutes daily.
The Natural Health Service
We’ve all been in awe of the National Health Service through the pandemic, but the Natural Health Service is also worth shouting about. Even positive change or change we are excited about can cause disruption and stress. Cortisol is the body’s primary stress hormone, and too much of it can cause havoc to our health and mental well-being. Cortisol also creates negative feedback loops, which means that the more cortisol we produce in the body, the worse we feel, making even more cortisol in a downward spiral.
It’s so important to break that downward spiral as quickly as possible, and one great way is to get near nature – a park will do. Listen to the sounds and smells and enjoy quiet time and the fresh air. As autumn is with us, one thing I love doing, especially with my children, is trying (and succeeding) to catch a falling leaf. It’s also a great game and looks ludicrous to anyone watching.
The more giant leaves like sycamore and horse chestnut are far easier to catch as they’re bigger. But there are great kudos if you notice a smaller one like an oak leaf. You might even create a game with points awarded for how many you catch and how hard they are based on their size. Being outside in or around nature has restorative powers that allow us to get back on an even keel to move forward constructively with the change.
Instead of sitting inside to eat your lunch, why not go to a local park with work friends and enjoy lunch al fresco? If possible, add in a bit of a walk too. Just breathe and listen to the sights and sounds of nature.
Change requires us to do, think or be different in some way. This often means mistakes, failures and slip-ups along the way. Rarely do we move seamlessly from one position to the other without some stumbles. Learning to ride a bike is a change from walking to a new form of transport—and learning to ride a bike doesn’t just happen miraculously, like the flick of a switch. It’s a journey of anxiety, questionable balance and a few scrapes. Everyone fails their way to riding a bike.
We all know this, yet when we become adults, we dread failure. It is seen as a weakness or something that must be hidden or fudged. And that is rubbish! Failure is the only way to succeed at anything, including successful change. This is known as having a growth mindset – the idea that everything is possible and can get better at anything if we stick with it and persevere.
Next time you have to make some changes. Recognise that A to B is never linear. There will be days that you stuff up. When you feel that you are taking three steps forward and two steps back. That’s OK. Just keep going. Take a minute to consider how often you have embarked on change and created unrealistic expectations for yourself. Stop expecting immediate perfection and instead settle for consistent effort.
What do you love? What makes you happy? Is it meeting up with friends, listening to booming music or singing at the top of your lungs in the car on the way to work? Do you love taking some time out and reading a good thriller? Or are you just enjoying family time at the end of a challenging week? Whatever it is, do more of it.
Change can be troubling. It can feel like your whole life is being shaken, so deliberately hang on to the positive habits that already make you feel happy and safe. If you don’t have any of those, make them. Take a minute to reflect on a time in your life when you felt incredibly peaceful or happy. What exactly were you doing? Have you stopped doing that? If so, why?
Another great habit of getting into is appreciation. In the shower in the morning or on your daily commute, take a few minutes to think about the three things you are most grateful for in your life. Relish those things during change.
Take Care Of The Basics
If you want to emerge from change, fighting fit and raring to go, you must take care of the basics. That means eating healthy food, getting enough micro-nutrients, getting enough sleep and drinking plenty of water.
That doesn’t mean you can’t have take-out or go out for a few drinks – take care of the basics most of the time. Getting enough rest is also crucial. To help with sleep, make sure you don’t have a TV in your bedroom and check Facebook or TikTok before bed. Ideally, don’t have your phone in your bedroom. Get an alarm clock and charge your phone in the kitchen. Trust me – the world will not tilt on its axis if you are not close to your phone for a few hours.
Make eating well easy for yourself. Take a few minutes to plan your meals for the week and ensure plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables are in the house. Also, consider a social media detox for a day or so. You might be surprised at how much better you feel.
Remember that pesky cortisol. Another great way to disperse cortisol in your system is to move and get physically active. You don’t need to go overboard – no need to pound the pavement at 5 am. Just move your body. Put on a favourite song and dance around your living room—like no one is watching—for a few minutes.
Social psychologist Amy Cuddy demonstrated that changing your body for as little as two minutes can massively reduce cortisol levels. In her study, she had half the volunteers engage in a ‘high power pose’ for two minutes, and the other half engaged in ‘low power poses’ simultaneously. Neither group was told what they were doing. High power poses are anything that increases the physical space we take up with our bodies. The classic one is the superman pose. Stand up firm, with your legs hip-distance apart, hands on your hips as though you’ve just landed to save the world!
Low power poses are the opposite and take up less space, including being hunched over looking at your phone. Cuddy found that using baseline levels for testosterone (confidence hormone) and cortisol (stress hormone) before and after the experiment. Those who did high power poses experienced a 20 per cent increase in the confidence hormone (testosterone). And a 25 per cent reduction in the stress hormone (cortisol). Those doing the low power pose for just two minutes experienced a 10 per cent reduction in the confidence hormone and a 15 per cent increase in the stress hormone.
Change the Process
Next time you need confidence during the change process, go to the bathroom and engage in two minutes of superman pose. You may feel like a complete idiot, but it will do wonders for your health and well-being. Start each day with a family superman pose before leaving the house! Think of yourselves as The Incredibles!
By taking just a few minutes a day and following the suggestions above, you can put yourself in the best possible state of mind to manage change successfully. Change is constant; the sooner we accept that and get good at change, the happier we will be. Developing change capability is also probably one of the most sought-after skills in the world of work too.
I hope you enjoyed that.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Sid Madge is the founder of Meee, which draws on the best creativity and thinking from psychology, neuroscience, branding, education and sociology to help people achieve extraordinary lives. To date, Meee has transformed the lives of over 20,000 people, from leaders of SMEs to PLCs to parents, teachers, students, carers, the unemployed and prison inmates.
Sid Madge is also the author of the ‘Meee in a Minute’ series of books, each offering 60 ways to change your life, work or family life in 60 seconds.