Stress from change

How change is handled is the key for managing stress.

Change is a part of everyday life. It happens in all areas of our life and it’s not necessarily a bad thing. People handle change differently. Some people do not handle change well, while others seem to thrive during periods of change. The bottom line is that we all have an opportunity to learn and grow by doing things in a new and different way. The way you choose to manage change may determine how much stress you may experience.

What can a person do to manage their stress during major changes in their lives? First, be aware that you will go through stages of adjustment during any transition or change. You will experience a number of emotions as you go through the process.

Be flexible. Assess what you do have control over and what you don’t have control over. Often we have influence or control over more than we think. In these situations take the appropriate actions to keep moving forward and where you don’t have control, let it go.

Take care of yourself. Eat healthy meals and get an appropriate amount of sleep. Exercise and take time to relax. When you do these four things you will be able to think clearly to help make good decisions as you move forward with life changes.

Seek information and resources to assist you with the transitions you may need to make. Find people that you are comfortable with to discuss your feelings. Use the information you seek to set up goals that you can accomplish to give you a sense of assurance and control.

Lastly, be patient with yourself and others as you go through this time of change and transition. Change is difficult and challenging. Keep communication channels open and remember that change can be an opportunity to learn and grow.

Michigan State University Extension offers a multitude of classes and resources on stress, managing anger, parenting, conflict resolution and violence prevention. For programs near you visit

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