At least 90 out of 100 people would tell you that they do not enjoy change. Change is not easy because humans are creatures of habit. You want to continue living in a certain routine once you have conditioned your body and mind to function in that way. This makes you feel comfortable with your surroundings and decisions, even if you’re living in a toxic environment!
Many people feel more comfortable staying in a situation that is bad for them because they believe they know what to expect…detaching from love that hurts and forging a new lifestyle can seem intimidating because you’re faced with the unknown.
Even if you don’t like change, there are ways to make healthy lifestyle changes easier. There are also tools you can use to welcome change into your life, even when you’re entering new uncharted territory.
Here are 3 ways to make lifestyle changes easier for you:
1. Determine Pros and Cons. If you know you need to make changes in your life and you aren't looking forward to doing so, you can do a simple exercise that will make the change easier to handle.
Take a sheet of paper, and on one side write “Pros,” and on the other write, “Cons.” On the corresponding side you will write the pros and the cons of the change so you can see what the benefits and drawbacks might be.
You may realize as you complete this exercise that the very thing holding you back is the fear of change itself.
Seeing the pros and cons will help you realize how it will benefit you to make the change. This allows you to warm up to the thought that change might actually be a good idea!
2. Incorporate the Change Gradually. Another way to make lifestyle changes easier is to work up to them.
For instance, if the healthy lifestyle changes that you need to make center around leaving an abusive partner and going No Contact, you may not want to quit cold turkey; instead you can work up to it. Start with deleting them from one social media platform at the time until you have finally deleted them from all of them. You might even consider deactivating some of your social media profiles so that you aren’t constantly fighting the urge to cyber-peek.
Preparing yourself both physically and mentally helps you to ease the change into your daily routine.
3. Use Affirmations. Another way to help make lifestyle changes easier is to use positive affirmations. Positive affirmations are statements that encapsulate the way you would ideally think or behave.
You can either create your own affirmations or look for statements that others have created, such as the Affirmations eBook I created for you below. The key is that you find an affirmation that speaks to you.
Words are powerful and, when you repeat the same words over time, they continue to resonate through your mind. When the words are positive you’ll find that you can tap into the positive thought anytime or anywhere.
If you’re worried about making a change, you don't have to be. Instead, you can remind yourself why you want to change by saying something like, "Change is healthy. I do not get stuck in the same routines." “I deserve to live a life of happiness.” When you repeat statements like these often enough, it becomes your response to the anxiety you feel. This makes changes easier for you to handle.
Some lifestyle changes are harder than others to become accustomed to even when we deeply want to make the changes. Many times, just one of these tips will help you to implement the change, while other times you may need to use a variety of methods to feel at ease about the change.
Use the “pros and cons” method to see the benefits. Then bring the change in gradually while you accept it through your affirmations. These techniques will help you feel confident so you can enjoy the benefits of your new lifestyle, without so much of the cognitive dissonance that typically accompanies such a change.
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Kim Saeed is a recognized relationship and new life educator specializing in helping narcissistic abuse survivors to heal, rebuild, find purpose, and live joyfully after No Contact. In 2013, she founded Let Me Reach, a life transformation company that teaches people to flourish after toxic relationships.