How To Make Changes In Your Life…without all the stress

Change, change, change. Nothing ever seems to stay the same. That’s because it doesn’t. The one thing we can be sure of is that things constantly change. Now this can be good or bad dependent on how you view it. So learning how to make changes in your life without a lot of stress and resistance can be a very helpful strategy.  Possibilities

In this article I am going to share a few things I learned along the way as a result of being faced with numerous challenges from several directions. Being able to allow what is occurring to happen without tripping out about it is one of the keys to making sustained progress in our lives.

Victim or Hero

As I just mentioned above, change is going to happen whether we resist it or not. But we all want to initiate change in the areas of our lives where we are less than satisfied. This is where we can learn to take control of the reins and handle any situation which occurs or which we put into motion.

Just hanging out and getting beat up by all the changes which occur around us can be enormously frustrating and energy-delpleting. We do feel like victims at this point. It does seem so very real that this is the way things are, and they are probably not going to change much at all.

To be able to recognize this when it occurs is the first step to waking up, accepting what is, and then realizing we do have options. It’s okay if we totally don’t buy into this at first, we just need to stay awake. This is the beginning of breaking away from a victim consciousness, and paving the way to developing a hero consciousness.

We are all artists painting away on the canvass of our life. Having forgotten we are in charge and do have many choices, it is easy to fall “victim” to many false beliefs we have picked up along the way. These beliefs are responsible for creating a very real and scary scenario for ourselves.

Once we see that this is the case, we can make some progress even though we still may feel completely stuck and unable to emerge from the quicksand of our illusions. Let’s now see where we can go from here.

The Hero’s Journey   Hero's Journey

Beginning on the hero’s journey can be a profound and exciting experience. It’s also important to realize to keep things light. Finding some humor in what is going on in our lives really helps us to let go of the stress, resistance, and fear. This may not be easy to do, but it certainly helps.

There is a psychologist at Stanford University by the name of Kelly McGonigal, who has written a book called “The Upside of Stress” in which she points out that our reaction to stress has a greater effect on our attitude, health, and success than the actual stress itself.

We get what we believe and expect. So if we worry about stress doing this or that to us, it will. That’s just the way things work in this great big universe of ours. Stress is merely a signal pointing us in the direction of something which needs to be addressed. Take the hint, move forward, and come up with some possible solutions.

When we are on the hero’s journey we learn pretty quick to look for solutions and to ignore failure and mistakes along the way. We just keep on going making whatever adjustments are needed.

When our feeling of fear, anger or whatever hit home hard, what will get us through will be staying awake to these feelings without having them have to go away for us to stay centered and present. It is this presence which allows us to observe ourselves fully in the moment no matter what we are feeling and/or thinking.

This is a very subtle process for sure, but it is what it takes in order not to be swept up by a hoard of feelings and thoughts which will drop us right back into victim consciousness. But when and if this happens, it’s okay. Not all is lost. We are still able to get up, dust ourselves off, and continue on our hero’s journey.

Watching the Stress Diminish

By staying awake, aware, and embracing life fully we get to the point of actually watching quite a bit of this fear and stress just melt away. Things begin to flow, and situations which we previously resisted become easy to handle. We have expanded to the point of recognizing our Essence, and letting go of any false images of whom we may have thought we were.

Stress diminishes quickly when we plainly see and recognize that we have been living based on many false assumptions about ourselves, others, and the world. It is our Essence on which we can depend. It is not affected by any outside factors, and it returns us to focusing on the things which we value most.

Whether it is focusing on our friends, family, creative expressions, enjoyable music and hobbies, or just the satisfaction we gain from a job well done, these values do much to allow us to rise above any perceived threats. Our Essence cannot be compromised by any of this.  Internal Essence

We can find a way around any challenge once we identify with who we truly are. Victor Frankl, an Austrian psychiatrist and neurologist as well as Holocaust survivor, had a term for this which he called “tragic optimism”. Having spent three (3) years in concentration camps in World War II, he returned home and embraced the many changes brought about by his experience.

Although he had lost all that he loved, including his family during the war, he realized he had the power to respond in a way which allowed him to see beyond the limitations of any specific changes. Instead of succumbing to bitterness and despair, he chose to move on with life in a way where he was able to inspire and bring value to the lives of others.

The “Good Old Days” are Now

The key to making changes in our lives without all the stress is to not resist what is happening. We can initiate change, as well as respond positively to changes which are constantly occurring, when we don’t expect things to be stable and stay the same. Once we accept this, we can gradually let go of the resistance we have created in order to try to keep things the same. Resisting change is like trying to plug a hole in a dam with your finger.

When we are adaptable, we see things from an entirely different framework. We are able to view all changes, whether desired or not, as just part of the flow of life. We don’t see ourselves as unlucky or as victims; rather, we stay engaged in life and identify opportunities which move us forward toward our goals and objectives.

The “good old days” are here right now. The lessons and experiences of that prior time have simply been transformed into new opportunities to learn, grow, and serve in the present moment. Those days empower us today to accept things as they are so that we may advance in ways that are beneficial to all involved.

Lose the stress involved in any kind of change by immersing yourselves in acceptance, presence, and observation. Stay alert and be the “conscious observer” of all that is transpiring in the present moment. In this way we are able to accept what is happening, reduce and eventually eliminate the resistance, and benefit from all the constructive changes in our lives.

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May you embrace all Change in a Joyful way,

Joseph

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10 Replies to “How To Make Changes In Your Life…without all the stress”

  1. Hi Joseph,

    What a great article you have here.  Change is a human phenomenon.  A human is ought to change or allow change to take place in his life.  Resisting change or wasting time blaming others doesn’t help anyone.   You are quite right, stress and our life experiences are an indication of time to change and pursue a different direction.   Whenever I  experience a challenge I always look for something I’m supposed to learn from it.

    All the best. 

    Sandikazi 

    1. Thanks so much for your comments.  When we don’t resist change we are able to recognize our True Power.  All the best to you.

  2. Joseph, YOU are a GREAT motivational speaker!  It was like you were reaching out and talking to me personally.

    My doubts and fear of change has always held me back.  You present a completely new way of thinking of things that even many years of therapy have not managed to break through.  I’ve bookmarked your page to read every morning!

    Some may not believe that changing your way of thinking can bring about such profound effects in a persons life but they do.  Your section on Victim or Hero was especially moving.  Many of us fall into the negative way of thinking of ourselves from the time we are children and it keeps getting instilled throughout our lives.  Once we stop thinking of that and seeing the good in life and the awesome opportunities it brings, things start to change!

    Embracing life is what it is all about!  Not everything happening is bad and its time for all of us to move past these negative thoughts and move forward in our lives.

    Thank you so much for such a passionate article!

    1. Thanks so much for your comments.  Much appreciated.  I am glad I was able to inspire you to consider an alternative view.  All the very Best to You.

  3. Your article was exactly what I needed to see today, thank you!

    I have always had a “glass is half full” outlook on most everything. I find it difficult to deal with others who tend to always see the negative in a situation since to me, dwelling on what is wrong is a huge waste of precious energy. I would rather use my energy to focus on what the possible solutions might be.

    I have been so overwhelmed with various curveballs in my life that I forgot for a moment and I let myself get buried in the emotional debris for a bit. Reading through your article reminded me that the challenges of today are just the stepping stones for tomorrow, if only I think of and deal with them in a positive constructive way.

    Thanks so much!

  4. Well said Joseph,

    Especially the Victor Frankl part, it’s my first time hearing of him and I already respect and admire his tenacity in adapting to the rapid changes around. Even when he has nothing to lose, he chose to adapt by understanding who he truly is inside, very inspirational and I hope I can adapt to changes as quickly as him and you.

  5. Thanks for this inspiring review. The moment we realized that life is dynamic and change is inevitable, all what we see as burden will be easy. There as been a time when I used to experience heart break any time I couldn’t achieve the goal I do achieved. This usually increase my blood pressure and cause alot of anxiety which can make my days become unproductive. The moment I realised life is not a smooth lane, that change is bound to happen, everything become easy. This make me love my life style. We are responsible for our happiness and progress. When we see change as a normal thing, we will try hard to make things come back to normal without getting buried with grieve.

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