Finding Calm in the Face of Change

Our lives reflect a set of chapters in a book. The length of each chapter as well as the book varies from person to person. Life is about changing. Evolving. I discuss the concept of change on a daily basis with my patients, encouraging them to make the changes they feel are necessary to move forward in their life. “The only constant is change”.

From Suburbia to the Big City.

If you had told me last year that after nine years of living in borough of 7,800 people I would be closing my practice, uprooting my life, and relocating to a borough of 1.5 million people, I would have said you were crazy. But I made the decision to do exactly that. That decision has resulted in a lot of planning and a significant shift in my thinking both about my present and my future and has been followed by every imaginable emotion on any given day – from feeling excited and happy to fear and feeling overwhelmed and returning to excitement and happiness.

Become comfortable with the uncomfortable.

“Expect discomfort when you move forward. Learn how to become comfortable with the uncomfortable”. Uncertainty in life creates anxiety, a normal response to a stressor. Expect this. Because we are creatures of habit we want to know definitively how things are going to work out so that we can know what to expect. However, life isn’t that neat and organized. Working through the feelings that uncertainty is often challenging.

One must learn how to “sit” with the anxiety that accompanies life’s uncertainty while concurrently moving towards your goals. Simply trying to “think it away” or distract yourself from it only magnifies it. The uncertainty does pass. People believe that if they worry, they will have more control over the situation. This is merely an illusion of control. Don’t let the worry control you, you control it and how much and to what degree.

Be Solution Focused and Driven.

Solution Focused Therapy is a treatment approach that fosters the development and achievement of each person’s vision of the solution. Where do I see myself living and working? What do I envision for myself? If all my concerns disappeared over night, how would I know this happened? What is my plan? How will I get from point A to point B? How will I process my thoughts and feelings as I say goodbye to a life I have created in PA both personally and professionally?

Major changes require calculated decisions. I recognize the importance of timing and the level of responsibility I have to ensure a smooth transition for both myself and my patients. There are legal and ethical considerations. Each patient has different needs. I had to evaluate how much time each patient may need to help them transition to another therapist while others will naturally end therapy.

Be organized. Come up with a tangible plan that provides solutions to your problems and concerns. Stay focused. Keep your eye on the prize. Expect the unexpected at times. Remain flexible in your thinking. Expect at times to be on an emotional roller coaster. However, in time things do settle down. Decisions get made. Goals are met. Time marches on.

Surround yourself with positive people that have your best interests at heart. You need good people in your corner that will move you along to that end, help meet your goals, listen and guide, provide needed support and humor, and help you get to the place that you want to be even when you have moments where you do not believe that you will succeed.

Keep calm and carry on.