Cartoon drawing of a little monk in orange robes, smiling with his arms out to his sides. there is grass beneath his feet and blue sky surrounds him. Next to him is a diamond-shaped yellow sign that reads ‘Change Ahead’ Caption is “Life is a series of natural and spontaneous changes. Don’t resist them that only creates sorrow” Lao Tzu. Picture by Molly at Buddha Doodles
Change is something I struggle with at times. One of the reasons I began my mindfulness practice was to try and deal with the anxiety I felt when changes were happening that I could not control. (Like not knowing what was happening with my care funding).
Another thing I have noticed is that when you need mindfulness the most and when you would get the most benefit from it is when it seems the hardest to do. So my first piece of advice is simply whenever you feel like you should be meditating, but for whatever reason you can’t find the motivation to do a more formal practice, simply fake it for a few breaths. Once you do this you may feel like you want to meditate for longer and you may not, whichever is fine, either way, hopefully you’ll feel a little calmer.
If you can it is helpful to keep up your mindfulness routine whenever you are going through a period of change. If you can’t manage to do that, try and bring mindfulness into your day in a more flexible way, like really focusing on enjoying your favourite treat or focusing on the breath whenever you find yourself waiting for something.
There are a few other things that mindfulness practice has taught me that I find helpful:
Allow yourself to feel however you are feeling just acknowledge those emotions and try and let them pass without getting too involved in them. If you beat yourself up for not being as good with change as you would like to be that just adds another layer of resistance.
Make sure you continue to communicate. This can be particularly important when you have specific needs. It’s important to try and be honest with the people around you and even if it is hard to start with, it might make things easier in the long run.
Give yourself space and time to adjust to the difference, whatever that may be. Try not to fall into the trap of expecting things to be perfect straight away or being disappointed when they don’t live up to the image that you had inside your head.
Most of all remember that you can always come back to your breath
Let me know how mindfulness has helped you deal with change, or if you find any of these ideas helpful.