What helps you adapt to change?

What helps you adapt to rapid, unpredictable, unexpected change?

I asked this question of student leaders at a province wide conference pre 2020. See their answers on the chalkboard below —

My Answer

GO SMALLER

One day at a time.

One hour at a time.

One class at a time.

Microseconds sometimes..

Your Turn

How do you keep moving forward?

What helps you adapt to change?

Interview: 5 Ways to Embrace Change

50 thoughts on “What helps you adapt to change?

  1. Michael

    Setting time aside each morning and each evening in silence has helped me reconnect with my journey “within the global journey” of the past 14 months.

    It doesn’t have to be long. Five or Ten Minutes is enough to bring me back to center.

    1. Silence is so important. But too often we escape silence with overdoing. Because first thing “we hear” is ruminating thoughts.

      But if we give silence a try, for short bursts of time — stillness replaces thought.

      ^ Your Great Tip ^

      Thank you for sharing Michael! Your daily “change adaptation” practice reminds me to RE-integrate it into my own.

      Silence is golden after all.

  2. Long time Andrea and hope you are well.
    One day at a time or as you say one hour at a time is the way I cope.
    I have recently used my pinterest boards more frequently and have put your pics on them. I have put the top one on my ‘progress but not perfection’ board and the one underneath on my quote board.
    Maybe I will copy them in my journal.
    Thank you 😊☘️

    1. I love the idea of Pinterest boards! Visuals help tremendously. Especially when it comes to centering oneself.

      I use a similar technique that combines both of your ideas. I use a journal to “word sketch” my thoughts. Part Imagery. Part Words.

      A daily reminder of my celestial bearings on the road of life.

      👟👟 🌟 ✨

  3. For a person with PTSD, change can be daunting

    Some of us were raised in survival mode, our issues always start with feeling safe and secure when change is around.

    For me focus, meditating, in my breath allows me to calm and center

    For me some change is easier than others

    PTSD people need to embrace change more

    1. Simply reading your comment: “focus, meditating, in my breath allows me to calm and center” has a ripple effect on my own peace of mind. Thank you for this!

      You have lived through so many changes Marty. Especially with PTSD and all the changes it takes. A continual, moment to moment shift from survival to at empowerment mode.

      Thank you for showing up and sharing your experiences. You help heal us all.

      1. Change hits all of us differently

        It’s a challenge to find balance between isolating, hiding from change and accepting change

        Then we work on calming the nervous system as we face risk

        1. Individual differences in personality, culture, gender, age, biology, psychology, sociology, and so much more impact how we adapt to change. Thank you for underscoring this Marty.

          Add in situational circumstances, including lockdowns (we’re on our third full lockdown in Canada – with no preset end in sight) and it’s no wonder that our collective nervous systems are fluctuating between fatigue, grief, and overload.

          Which is why your writing hits such an important note right now Marty. Sharing all the ways we can calm and care for ourselves.

          “When we are no longer able to change a situation, we are challenged to change ourselves.” Viktor Frankl

              1. Having nervous system trained to spot danger makes taking risks, change difficult

                For me it’s rewiring decades of old habit

                Hopefully this is the final peeling of the onion

  4. Scott

    The number one thing that has helped in the last year has been staying away from the news. Print. Television. Social Media. It has spun out of control – too much opinion, too little facts.

    Instead: I do research on my own. Scientific journals. Real life (socially distanced) conversations and observations. Questions and Reflections. Collecting data.

    Discernment in “information ingestion” has been my saving grace in adapting to change.

    1. Information Overload = Pandemic 2.0

      Thank you for highlighting the power of discernment and critical thinking in adapting and adjusting to the rapid changes of the last 14 months.

      “Information Ingestion” practices we follow in our own household too.

      Reminds us of our own power to think. Independently. Simple “media consumption” Changes. On Repeat 🍃

  5. Poetpas

    For me it’s awareness. It brings me everything under any circumstances. Insight, calmness. And it helps me to adapt to change 😊

    1. Amen to awareness and waking up to what’s right in front of us.

      For the only truth — is right here, right now.

      1:07pm on May 20, 2021 in Ontario, Canada

      Everything else is a figment of our imagination.

      Thank you for the reminder!

      1. Poetpas

        You’re welcome. Tibetan meditation me a bit of mindfulness brought me the insight and it’s been a welcome gift 🙏

        19:07 on May 20, 2021 (Amsterdam)

  6. Hi Doctor Dinardo, I thoroughly enjoyed this inspiring article, especially the interview – you were tops!
    I was, for most of my life, one who resisted change. As you rightly alluded to, my issue was both loss of control and uncertainty of the future. This was particularly amplified when I emigrated from the country of my birth, leaving members of my family behind, to a country 10,000 kilometers away.
    Through a variety of factors, I came to a decision that I would in future, commit to accepting all changes and adapting as would be required. Now I sleep better! Fond regards, Peter

    1. Thank you for taking the time to watch the CBC-TV interview on embracing change! And for your generous feedback.

      Motivating people to make a lasting change is a big part of the work that psychologists do. And one of the reasons that I transitioned from practicing as a psychologist for 18 years (1998-2016) to teaching, speaking and writing about psychology (I retired my psychologist practice 5 years ago) is so that I could reach more people. (Plus I love change!)

      I also appreciate the transformational experience you shared from your own life. Moving 10,000 kilometres away from your country of origin is what psychologists call “exposure therapy”.

      You had no choice face your fears and resistance to change. ADAPT OR DIE is a truism. Which is why when you shared that your only choice was to “commit to accepting all changes” finally allowed you to sleep at night!

      Acceptance paves the way for what’s to come. We can’t add more to our lives, without first letting go.

  7. Linda

    Fitness helps me adapt to change. Especially unexpected and unpredictable changes like the pandemic. I turned 53 on May 10. And there is no doubt that walking, running, and calisthenics keeps me flexible in mind, body, and spirit! 🏃‍♂️

  8. ‘Aging’ can take some getting used to… even without added aggravations like bad health and grief. What helps me is working through extra tiredness and limited energy levels is by accepting, mindfulness, and appreciation. We have so much to be grateful for living in a democracy, having a roof, food in our stomachs and someone to love. Cheers!

      1. Thank you Dr. Andrea. It doesn’t always work, but does often help enormously. I’d love a recipe to combat tiredness though.. My husband reminds me as I’m 89 (a lie…) it is to be expected. Mentally I’m around 40…(I can’t possibly be that old…) Best wishes. x

        1. You asked the best question!

          Energy Management is one of my favourite topics to teach!

          Recent Interview:

          THE WAY MY 84 YEAR OLD MOM TAUGHT ME:

          Age a MINDSET.
          My mom runs, walks, bikes, every single day and so do I.

          BECAUSE
          I am 51 and I’m not slowing down anytime soon.
          I am just getting started….
          Dr. Andrea 2.0🕺

          “When you change the way you look at things — the things you look at change.”

  9. I hate unexpected change. If I’m the one making the changes, then I’m good lol, but changes out of the blue that are uncontrollable? Nope. Soooo, I remind myself that change is inevitable in all things. Our bodies are changing every second; our opinions are always changing as we gain new information. Sometimes remembering that change is the only constant calms me down.

    1. Ditto! The change we choose is exciting and freeing. We’re in charge. We’re the queen. BUT when it comes from the outside (like the last 14 months – hello situational anxiety on fleek!)

      Which is why your mindset is so calming Dr. G. Your words lifted me up to the penthouse of my brain. In fact, if you re-read your comment from the beginning to the end. It’s as if you began the dialogue in limbic system (where fear lives) and travelled UP to your prefrontal cortex, where the power of logic reminds of us our strength.

        1. Smiling up in Canada as I read your reply! I noticed how my mind and body responded as I read your words. I was like “oh damn, I am going to take that change down” .. to oh damn… why bother fighting it .. the only constant is change.. time to FREE MY MIND with words. 🕺🏼🔮

  10. Change is something that has so many negative connotations for people but the challenges that accompany it can bring so much personal growth, which is a positive! To adapt to change, I try to talk to those around me about what I’m having difficulties with and I find that the more perspectives I get the more helpful it is in figuring out how to move forward x

    1. There are 8 billion unique perceptions of life on this planet – and what better way to gain a fresh perspective than to seek others’ input and experience.

      Gaining perspective by seeking others’ input is a brilliant technique for adapting to change.

      Thank you for reminding me to do the same Christy!

  11. I work on keeping my focus on what I can do and not worry about what I can’t do. Every morning is my time with the Lord, a sacred space that settles my soul and reminds me of all that I truly do have to be grateful for. And I’ve found that putting people first in all things is the biggest small change I can make. People will always be more important than stuff and clutter. I love the idea of the ripple–even a small rock makes ripples in water, no matter how big the ocean. Thanks for this, my friend.

    1. The variety of your adaptation to change techniques is incredible Dayle. When one fails on a given day (because that’s life — pre and post covid) then you have 10 more to choose from! 🌊🙏☀️

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