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How Change Impacts the Brain and Holds You Back

Change – that can be a scary word, more so for some people than others. Change means moving away from something we know and moving to something we don’t – and that can create resistance. Some individuals will drag their heels, refusing to the change while others will go with it but are kicking and screaming reluctantly, while others will cruise along to see how things go and either will accept or reject. We get these types of responses whether the change is forced on us or it is for something we want for ourselves.

Why is change so difficult? Why can we just accept and move towards it as opposed to holding back? You know, the more we resist the more upset and frustrated we become. So what happens? How can this be explained?

We actually have to place blame on this brain of ours, especially the reptilian part of the brain, which houses emotions. When we move away from our status quo, and it feels threatening, that limbic system activates which will either lead us to fight or to be anxious. How we respond will be how we’ve coped and adapted over the years to stressful situations.

The way to move through change is to alter the way you see it – not as a threat but as something that will be an improvement which you get to know. Don’t think ahead or predict the outcome (‘It will never work’); plan and write out some solutions for how you will deal with the change, and tell yourself that it will work out. These simple steps help to tame the ‘dinosaur’ and help you to move through any changes that come your way.

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