Have you ever found yourself in a position where change was inevitable? You may have felt annoyed, frustrated, or even scared about how that part of your life was going to change. Maybe you felt trapped – the change was going to happen whether you liked it or not. If so, then you know how difficult these types of situations can be.

You might have felt out of sorts or stressed out for days, weeks, or even months. But what if you could enjoy a shift of perception and view change as opportunity? What if you embraced change with open arms?

Here are 8 strategies to open your mind to change.

There are a multitude of ways to begin opening your mind to change and each individual person is unique. Change comes easy for some while others tend to struggle with change. Whether change comes easy or hard for you, here are 8 things that tend to work for almost anyone from any culture or age group.

Accept the idea of change. When you get comfortable with the idea that change is going to happen, it will help you go into a change with less stress. John F. Kennedy once said, “The one unchangeable certainty is that nothing is certain or unchangeable.” Change will, in essence, always be occurring. Recognizing and accepting change as the only stable truth in life will make life tend to flow much easier for you.

See that change implies progress. Whether you admit it or not, when something changes, it’s progressing. As you probably realize, living life day-to-day often involves making progress on some level.

Recognize that change introduces unknowns into your life. The aspect of change that probably shakes you up the most is that it introduces unknown factors. It can be a bit discombobulating to not know what could be coming your way. Still, the unknown aspect of change must be acknowledged.

Be ready to experience the “newness” that change brings. If you can shift your thinking from a focus on the unknown to recognize that change involves “newness”—new things, people, places, and ideas—with at least some of it bringing excitement and interest, you’ll feel a whole lot better about it.

Believe that change can be transformative. You could be exposed to better products, knowledge, and skills as results of change. Many changes also have great aspects that open up your life in ways you hadn’t imagined before. Your experience at work or home—wherever the change occurs—can transform your life for the better.

Notice that a wider array of choices often accompanies change. Along with change often come more options. A whole new world opens up, in a sense. You’re in a position to take advantage of new choices.

View change as “the spice of life.” There’s an old saying based on something William Cowper wrote that states “Variety is the spice of life.” If you can apply that attitude to how you see change, your life will be different.

Tell yourself that you can adjust to change. You’ve probably experienced hundreds of changes so far over your lifetime. You’ve adjusted to them. You’ve worked things out. You’ll be able to adjust to more changes in the future.

If you shift how you regard changes you’ll feel more comfortable with them. Accepting change, viewing change as progress, recognizing there will be unknowns, and embracing the newness of change will help you get ready for change. And if you can see change as transformative, notice that it creates more choices for you, view it as “the spice of life,” and remind yourself that you can adjust to anything that happens, you’ll approach change more positively.

Change doesn’t have to be scary. With a simple shift in perspective, it can be rather exciting!

I am a doctoral student, certified behavior specialist and ordained minister from Houston.

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