The only this that is certain in this life is change.

I recently read an article that said all of the Buddhist teachings could be summed up in two words. “Everything changes”. The harder you resist change, the more you suffer. Be flexible and embrace change, and your life becomes infinitely easier.

A lot of people are uncomfortable with uncertainty. As a result, they struggle to feel a greater sense of control over their lives. They feel more secure knowing what to expect from every day and every situation. This need to be in control can range from subtle and easy to manage, to highly difficult to live with.

Often, a disruption in life circumstances is the catalyst that brings people into therapy. The death of a loved one, divorce, college graduation, and job loss are all major adjustments that cause stress and sometimes trigger emotional or physical symptoms. Those triggers are easily identified and usually easily resolved.

Most people are afraid to change because they lack practical skills to help them cope. They may have had chaotic childhoods that did not prepare them. Others were either sheltered from change or suffered so many changes in their young lives that they compensated by digging into routine and ritual. Protective parents try to shield their children from upsetting events only to unwittingly deprive them of the practice and support they need to learn to make a change in stride. Therapy helps people adjust to change by giving them resources, skills, motivation, and perspective.

Emotional flexibility is the key to good mental health.

In therapy, I help people adjust to new life situations by giving them resources, skills, motivation, and perspective. We find the deficits and fill them in with healthy new skills. Many times, the support and positive reframe is all they need. Becoming more flexible and able to embrace change is a life skill that is worth acquiring. The sooner the better.