The month of May personifies graduation, wrapping up, celebrating birth, both in the form of Mother’s Day and because suddenly there are a million baby plants and animals bursting forth all around, and spring cleaning! What do all of these things have in common?
Transition and change!
And even though many of these transitions are considered positive, all transitions or life changes are stressful and all transitions need to be managed. Let me say that again:
All transitions are stressful and all transitions need to be managed. Especially if they are to be done successfully with joy instead of with panic or overwhelm.
Your Brain on Change: Why We are Programed to Resist Change
The brain is like a computer, but instead of 1’s and 0’s, it sorts everything as either positives or negatives. If something is known, it’s categorized as a positive (even if it’s objectively negative) and if something is an unknown, it’s categorized as a negative (even if it’s positive.)
A clean, organized closet or home? A new job where you are well-paid and respected? A loving, committed relationship? All positives, right? Not to your brain, if it hasn’t already experienced these things already. Unless you have already had a clean, organized home, a well-paid job where you are respected and a loving, committed relationship, your brain will literally be scared of these things, and will actively take steps to prevent you from getting them!
How to Overcome Resistance
Perhaps you have heard the term resistance? Yup, resistance is just your brain saying, “Hold on here! I have no idea if what you are proposing to me is going to keep us safe. I know that where we are at right now is safe (because we’re alive, aren’t we?) therefore, I’m going to keep us safely right where we are at!”
Thank you brain.
Kids and Transition vs. Adults and Transition – Tantrum Anyone?
Kids are notoriously difficult at transitioning. They don’t yet have enough cognitive information and experience to realize that sometimes transitions, even when they are unknown, result in something that is desired. Therefore, they tantrum!
As adults, we experience the same internal feelings of resistance and panic that kids do, except we have a whole host of life experiences that we can draw on that can help us realize that even though transitions are tough, they can and do result in better things for us.
But just like kids need tools to help them with the transition, so do we! Hence, my 30 Second Transition Tamer Tool!
Interested? I thought so!
How The 30 Second Transition Tamer Tool Works
Part of the reason we feel so overwhelmed and out of control is because we get all up in our heads. In our thoughts, in the what if’s of our situation, and we literally lose touch with reality. Reality is where we are at now. What is really happening, and not what could happen.
In order to get out of your heads, we need to get back in our bodies. To feel where we are at in space, to reaffirm our safety, our presence and our breath. Breath is the link to spirit, by the way, so please remember to breathe!
For 30 seconds, wherever you are, simply touch and feel your own body. Rub or press your feet on the floor, hug your arms, hard, grab your hair or your head, press your lips together, squeeze your hands, your thighs or your arms. Contract your abdominals or your glutes. Get down into your body, and see if you can literally feel each and every part. And as you do, breathe.
That’s it. Literally.
Whether it’s a major transition such as death, divorce, birth, death, marriage, empty nesting, reentry into the workforce, down-sizing, moving or career transition, or a minor transition such as cutting out sugar, cleaning out your closet or beginning a new fitness routine, all transitions are hard, and all transitions need to be managed in order to be successful.
What was your hardest transition? What was your easiest? Do you have any tips and tools that have worked for you that you would like to share? Comment below if you do, because the more we work together and share our knowledge, wisdom and expertise, the better we will all do!
Happy Spring, and most of all, Happy Transitioning!