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Resilience: Accepting What You Cannot Change – 4 tips

August 30, 2010

One of the causes of distress (leading to stress) is what goes on in our own minds.  Your reactions or thoughts – essentially your self-talk can make all the difference as to whether you become stressed-out about something or whether you sail through unruffled.

Practicing acceptance is easier said than done, but it IS doable.Acceptance does not necessarily mean you will be automatically happy with the situation.

One can be having a miserable experience and still be at the core “at peace.” You can be suffering through the loss of a loved one, career, belief or be in a health crisis an still have an inner peace.  –Dennis Deihl, author” The Power of Now
However, letting yourself be resentful about a situation, and letting yourself be angry for a long time about it is not useful.   While it is important to acknowledge your emotions about an event, it is also important not to get stuck there.
So this year, as you enter a new school year, you will undoubtedly be faced with some situations that create distress for you.
Here are some tips:
  1. Remember that change is a natural part of our existence – it happens whether you accept it or not.  This is not something you have control over, so let it go.  Put your energy into being resilient and coming through the change creatively.
  2. See this as an opportunity.  Think about it – change may be uncomfortable, but on the other hand, it also changes the parameters in which we operate.  You have been given an opportunity for growth!
  3. Know that it’s entirely normal to be resistant to change.  The stages of grief are also important emotional stages when facing any kind of change. (Denial, Resistence, Exploration, Acceptance/Commitment)
  4. Pay attention to your attitude. Fighting some changes is like beating your head against a brick wall.  Don’t waste your energy on it!   Find ways to channel your energy in a positive direction.  This will increase your sense of empowerment, and help you feel more resilient in the face of such change.
Most importantly, form a support network.   This might be people who are also undergoing the change, or might have to be people who are NOT experiencing the change you are undergoing.  The call is yours.
You may not have control over the changes that come at you, but you DO have control over your responses.  That, in itself, is pretty empowering.
If you would like to read more about this topic, Livestrong.com has a marvelous article on processing and accepting change.
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