There is a saying about change that goes, “Better the devil you know than the one you don’t.” The idea here is that it is better to stick with what you know than to welcome change and potentially end up with a worse situation. The familiarity of what we already have feels secure and safe, and it is not surprising that the majority of people try to avoid change.
But is it worth avoiding change for comfort? We normally try to stay away from things that cause us stress since that is a threat to our mental wellbeing. Understanding the pros and cons of change can help you handle it in a healthy way – one that does not involve impulsive risks but does provide opportunities for your continued happiness.
Is Change Good or Bad?
Change can be stressful. It often comes with uncertainties, new things to learn, and potential for mistakes. You can think and analyze change before you embrace it, and there will still be aspects you did not foresee and are not prepared for. Change for the sake of change can be frustrating.
But nothing ever stays the same for long. Everyone and everything around us is constantly evolving. As individuals, we are learning and encountering new ideas every day, even when we try staying in our comfort zones. Trying to avoid change because it is easy can hold us back from some of the positives of change, such as new opportunities, better personal knowledge, and better adaptability to future changes. Those who regularly change also tend to be happier.
So change is not all good or all bad, but it is inevitable. Forgoing any changes can leave you in a bad situation and keep you from reaching goals. Knowing how to integrate changes, or even seek them out, can help you minimize the challenges that change causes your mental health.
How to Embrace Change in Your Life
When you accept that change is inevitable, you are on the path towards embracing it. Here are some other ideas for helping you adjust to changes:
- Look at What You Can Control – Naming what you can control during a period of change will make the out of control elements more bearable.
- Start Small – One big change can often be broken into smaller, more manageable parts to help you ease into a new situation.
- Recognize Discomfort – Change can be uncomfortable. Learn to recognize your discomfort as a sign you are learning something new.
- Reflect and Learn – Not all change will be a success, but you will learn something from each change. Taking time to reflect will help you identify the positives.
- Celebrate Change – When you make a change, congratulate yourself on taking that step even if not everything went to plan.
A final step is to seek help when you need it. Reaching out to friends, family, community resources, or a psychologist gives you partners to support you through change. They can help you rationalize anxiety and acknowledge positive change.