I’ve mentioned the work of Dr. Happy on my blog in the past. He’s been an incredible influence to many Australians and in the time that I’ve known him I’ve found his approach life-changing.
Dr. Happy will be guest blogging once a month and his first blog is below.
Today’s topic touches on coping with change. I’ve been very candid in the past about how i used to be paralysed with anxiety when it came to key transitions in my life. For me, it was shifting from phases in school, being in a new working environment, moving from city to city and initially coping with my move to the United States.
A combination of factors now make this relatively a non-issue. I’m so relieved as I never thought that there would come a day that I could type those very words.
I know that there are many people around me, those I don’t know and maybe even yourself, that may be finding aspects of your life challenging. Dr. Happy takes a philosophical approach to this and I know you’ll find his words useful. He teaches you to make the best decisions for the way you think and how you choose to live your life.
Without change there would be no butterflies
Change is scary, frightening, anxiety provoking and at times even terrifying. Change unsettles, disrupts, disturbs and disagrees with many.
Change is also exciting, positive, stimulating and educational. Change is also growth facilitating, resilience building and when all is said and done…inevitable.
I love the title quote, “without change there would be no butterflies”, because it reminds us that the pain of tumultuous evolution and metamorphosis can, and often does, end in beauty.
Admittedly, this isn’t always the case and we’ve all experienced change that ends badly; but the extent to which anything is defined as or experienced as “bad” is at least partly up to us because desirable change might lead to happiness but undesirable change can still lead to learning…and therefore, ultimately, to betterment.
The crux of the matter is, as hinted at above, that whether we seek it or like it or enjoy the process of it or not, change will happen. And this has been recognised for thousands of years.
The Greek philosopher, Heraclitus, supposedly said “no man ever steps in the same river twice, for it's not the same river and he's not the same man.”
Now if one excuses the gender bias for a minute, this simple but profound statement is undeniably true. All things change always, including each and every one of us. So fighting or trying to resist change is, essentially, futile; fighting or resisting the inevitable is also unhelpful, as it only leads to frustration and disappointment.
Another wise man, the ancient Chinese sage, Lao Tzu has been quoted as saying “if you realize that all things change, there is nothing you will try to hold on to.”
Our bodies change; our relationships change; our situations change.
Coming to terms with this indubitable reality is a crucial component of happiness and wellbeing. Coming to terms with this can be achieved by making an effort to accept what is. Coming to terms with this can be made easier by not just accepting the cold hard realities but also, making the most of what’s good and learning from what might at first, seem not so good.
Dr. Timothy Sharp is a clinical and coaching psychologist who’s sometimes known as Dr. Happy! He’s the Founder and Chief Happiness Officer of The Happiness Institute and you can find him regularly tweeting at @drhappy.
(Image via smh.com.au)