Life throws unexpected things at us all the time. Sometimes unexpected events can be much more serious, such as an illness or a job loss. Needless to say, these kinds of events can be quite distressing. Change is inevitable. When you’re expecting it, the transition can feel easy. When you’re not, it can be devastating. Sometimes life becomes erratic and if you are managing a life, filled with surprises and changes, you may think that it’s very hard to adapt such transitions.

In some cases tough times will be triggered by a singular event which comes on suddenly and acutely — like a cataclysmic event, a national disaster, a separation with your partner or the untimely demise of your loved ones. Enormous occasions have a way for deeply inspiring us, and it can be difficult to know how to deal with them in the moment, and as you move forward.

It’s always important to be mindful of your physical and emotional needs. But times of transition and change (even positive change!) can be overwhelming. Sometimes we’re left not knowing which steps to take next.

However, research shows that negative emotions such as fear, anger, and frustration can actually cause your brain’s executive network, which is responsible for problem solving, to constrict and work less effectively. On the other hand, positive emotions help your brain generate more creative solutions to problems.

Although you can’t control the occurrence of unexpected situations, you can control how you respond—and that can make all the difference in how you feel and how you deal with distressing issues. Sometimes, such distressful events, can have a serious effect on our physical as well as mental wellbeing and our relationships

It’s also a reality that our world and our lives are constantly changing. Just reflect on your last five years and think about all the changes you have experienced and seen in the world. Technology has changed, your physical appearance has changed, the people around you may have changed, and the way you do your work or run your business may have also changed.

If change is all around us, why is it difficult for us to deal with change? There is a common perception that people resist change, however I have learned people resist change only when it is not their choice. The fact that we willingly change every day is proof we don’t always resist change, but when we’re dealing with something that makes us uncomfortable, resistance can come up.

Things to Do When Dealing With Unexpected Change

To deal with unexpected changes, we need to know how to handle what can surface as a result of those changes. Here are five things to consider doing next time you’re faced with an unexpected change.

However, if you’re experiencing negative emotions such as fear, resentment, anger or disappointment, rather than suppressing those emotions, it’s helpful to experience those emotions and allow them to move through you.

1) Accept the Change

Denying the existence of change rarely frustrates its staying power. Instead of rejecting change, our most rewarding course of action is to acknowledge its presence and effect on our way of life.

2) Explore Your Feelings About Change

There are two scenarios when facing an unexpected — we’ll either have positive or negative emotions toward it. If you’re experiencing position emotions such as excitement or enthusiasm about a change, obviously that’s a good thing. When you prioritize your internal experience as you process change, you ensure your emotional well-being, as well as your overall progress.

3) Prepare for It

You should mentally prepared for possible unexpected change that may suddenly appear in your life. This necessitates you create and ceaselessly develop mental fortitude, interest, confidence, appreciation, and inventiveness. All of these habits-of-mind will provide you with the flexibility and strength you need when faced with unexpected circumstances. 

4) Act Appropriately

 It’s important to remember all our actions have consequences. Amid something that’s unexpected, people behave irrationally, only to regret it later. Therefore, we must be conscious of what we’re saying and how we’re behaving. Sometimes doing simple things like taking a break or going for a walk to clear your thoughts can do wonders when coping with change.

5) Ask for Help or Guidance

Rather than try to work through the change on your own, it’s beneficial to seek guidance from those you trust. Also, asking someone who has been through a similar change can help tremendously.