Big Change/Small Steps: Managing Change in the Physical Body
Where do you “wear” change in your physical body? Where do you carry it and how does it show up in relation to the physical world?
This is the third and final segment in a series of articles on Change. The first was about change on a universal level. The second was about change on a more personal and practical level. This third segment deals with change and how it relates to our physical body. About how it can sneak in and take us by surprise, and then of course what to do about it.
Change is pervasive. It is everywhere we look, hidden in places we can’t see and often shows up when we aren’t even looking. Some things you can point to, put your finger on and say, “Ah ha!” but beyond the obvious, change all too often lurks in the dark alleyways of our existence and wreaks havoc on our mental, spiritual and physical selves.
On the surface we can usually comprehend the changes that are going on around us even if we don’t agree with them. But what do we do, or even know, about the change that’s going on inside of us as a result of the change on the outside? Every cause has an affect and if you are dealing with some BIG changes in your life – or even small ones that eat away at you – you can pretty much bet those changes are having an affect deep beneath the surface.These are the changes most people can’t see or tend to ignore until it is unfortunately far too late.
These are the changes that cause stress related illnesses and chronic disease. The changes that when left unchecked, make us a short tempered and bolder that we ought to be. The ones that build beneath the surface and show up as road rage and spontaneous acts of violence we later regret. Most of us have experienced this at one time or another and know this feeling of being “out-of-control,” is not where we want to be!
Change in all forms, good and bad, lives in our physical body. If it is good change, or if we are managing change well by taking good care of ourselves, the signs might be that we are peaceful, trusting and good natured – a sea of calm amidst a world of chaos. If however we are not managing change well, not acknowledging and processing the change in a healthy way, we are at great risk of diminishing our health, vitality, creativity and sense of self. At risk of diminishing our resourcefulness, our opportunities, our relationships and everything that’s important to us that makes our life worth living!
The number one thing you can do in the midst of BIG, uncomfortable change is to take care of your mental, physical and spiritual well being. This above all else should be your top priority. Get outside. Move your body. Be physical. Sweat. Work out harder than normal. Talk. Admit you’re stressed. (It’s not a dirty secret.) If needed, get professional help. Get massages, acupuncture, do yoga, do whatever! But don’t let the BIG, bad change (or the fear of it) take up residency in your physical body.
The number two thing you can do is to be of service to others. To move beyond your fear and realize how many people are in greater need than you. By sharing your skills and talents with others you will maintain a sense of purpose and self confidence which will strengthen your ability to move through change more effectively.
Other important things you can do to navigate change more easily are: Learn something new. Stay engaged with the things that bring you joy. Take time for meaningful conversation and relationships. Write. Do the things you always longed to do when you were too busy and had no time to create. See this time as an opportunity to grow, to know yourself more deeply, to gain appreciation for all that you have. In fact, practice gratitude as if your life depended on it. Keep at the forefront of your mind the fact that this time too shall pass. Remember that everything changes and soon the struggle in which you find yourself, the uncomfortable thoughts and feelings that surround you, will all be gone.
“And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom.” —Anais Nin