How can work change my poor life

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Are you happy and satisfied with your life as it is? Or would you like to change something? As part of the ARD theme week #WIELEBEN - EVERYTHING REMAINS DIFFERENT, we ask ourselves how we want to live in the future. Family therapist Birgit Salewski gives tips on how to best cope with life changes - small and large, internal and external.

Status: November 15, 2020

In the course of our life we ​​all go through changes. How can these be fundamentally differentiated?

"Basically, changes can be differentiated into:

  • biological / physical changes: Our body is in one permanent change process. A very banal example would be the change in ours skin and the hair over the decades, we all know that. If we look at the development of Adolescents towards boys Adult look, it becomes even clearer how extensive changes can take place in a short time: the body grows up, the voice changes, brain development takes great strides again, socially and cognitively often very much changes again. The young adult has now grown from a still dependent child and partially self-employed adolescent into a responsible and fully developed adult.
  • internal changes: Inner change means one Change by itself. This can be changes in attitudes, values, preferences, lifestyle habits or entire life plans.
  • external changes: When life circumstances change change from the outside, or social framework conditions change, then I have to deal with them (intentionally or unintentionally) and adapt to them.

Changes are a reliable part of human life with effects on physical, social, psychological and also cognitive areas. In fact, we often don't really notice it because we're so used to it. For example, the biological / physical changes result naturally from human development from infants to children or from adolescents to adults.
Basically there are changes that are clearer and have more consequences than other, possibly unforeseen or fateful changes. "

How do the inner changes come about?

"Inner changes arise on the one hand through our development, in that we keep replying to the answers important questions in life give:

  • How and where do I want to live?
  • Who do I want to live with?
  • What do i want to work?
  • What do I enjoy?
  • What makes me happy
  • What is bothering me in my life?

In addition, we sometimes experience one inner urge to developwhen we notice that our current life plan no longer suits us. That is, the inner evaluations the respective situation and that Experience the situation no longer fit together. In short: One becomes dissatisfied.
Some people choose (unconsciously) to be a Get by to find with their dissatisfaction and do not change anything. People tend to do this who may see too few opportunities or think that they have no right to change. That sounds strange, but it happens very often. Other people feel the price of change is too high and decide against change. Here then has one Consideration took place, for example if you are dissatisfied with the relationship, but at the same time do not want to leave your partner.
Are all internal processes, that lead to changes, sometimes in fundamental and life-changing decisions (e.g. starting a family, finding a new home, changing jobs, starting a new beginning or breaking up a partnership). "

Internal change processes can pose challenges not only to oneself, but also to one's own environment. How do you explain these changes to friends and family?

"It may be that I initially irritate or hurt people close to me. Now the question is how to proceed: If the upcoming change is important to me, I will hardly be able to avoid finding a way to deal with the desired change At the same time, the question is how relationships will change as a result and what challenges I will face. Only that helps calm and explanatory conversation, also here with neutral support if required.
But if people permanently decide against their innermost needs or longings, they will dissatisfied and suffering. Then maybe the environment is happy because nothing seems to have changed. But in reality a loved one changes, because he suffers from not being able to live changes. "

What about the changes that come from outside?

"The other part is change, where we're kind of react to external conditions (have to). These changes are not always wanted or even welcome. We do need one, however Handling with that and for us we often have to get one very quickly individual assessment of the change come so that we can act accordingly.
Ultimately, it's about yourself to arrange and adapt to a new situation. I don't mean bend, but rather one accepting attitude to be taken: If I cannot influence external circumstances, then I can indeed complain about the circumstances, but this does not change the circumstances. But if I take the circumstances for granted, then I have the opportunity to find a way to deal with them. "

External changes can also be negative, e.g. B. the corona pandemic, if the partner separates from you or the job is terminated. What strategies can I use to deal with these negative, external changes?

"Negative changes, to which one is more or less at the mercy, demand our adaptability enormously! That can cause a real life crisis.
A helpful strategy persists in such situations in my experience three important components:

  • Get a quick overview of the options available!

Orientation gives us a sense of the ability to act and security. So you are not at the mercy and dependent, but remain active. Here friends and family or even a neutral advisor can help point out and weigh up the perspectives.

  • Use social networks!

Here you will receive emotional support, confirmation and often initial help. Networks such as family, friends, colleagues, advice services at work, advice centers, sports buddies can be very useful in times of crisis. It is therefore important to seek mutual contact and to stand by each other. If we see that someone in our environment is in such a life crisis, support can always be offered.

  • Pay attention to routines and exercise!!

When life gets out of hand, we need routines in everyday life that give us security and stability. It is therefore important to quickly find new and simple routines that structure the day. It is also important that there is variety / distraction as well as periods of rest. Move (Walking, cycling, hiking, walking for the dog, gardening) helps to deal with emotional stress. The body processes better, the circulation becomes calmer and more stable, the thoughts become calmer and more orderly. "

Important: prevention

In the quiet phases of life, it is important to invest in these three areas so that they are more readily available when they are actually needed. So prevention!

Changes are often associated with uncertainty and effort. One is even afraid of some changes - why actually?

"Changes always cost strength and energy. At the same time, we never know for sure what will come after the change. Is everything going well? What happens if I ...? Have I thought of everything? Our bodies and minds often have an interest in increasing energy We therefore try to avoid some changes and stick to the tried and tested: I know my way around, everything is predictable and controllable and I can feel safe.
The prospect of change is also often frightening, so that people retreat prematurely without really having considered all the possibilities (see point 1 of coping). But fear is only a feeling and has to be reflected on:

  • What scares me, what are my worst fears?
  • How likely is it that this will really happen?
  • What can I do to prevent this fear from occurring?
  • How do I evaluate my impulses for change, my possibilities for change and the likely consequences?


Only after this calm analysis can many people take the courage to change and take steps. "

Conclusion

"Change takes place permanently, but we hardly notice it. That is why we are actually predestined to deal with the large and unpredictable changes."