Things tend to change just when you’ve gotten use to them, and that can be uncomfortable. With that in mind, let’s unpack how adapting to change can help improve your mental health and wellbeing.
Life does not stand still
With each passing year it feels like the world is moving faster and faster. Innovations, trending styles and new ways of thinking displace the status quo at an ever-increasing cadence. You only have to look at the last few years to see just how much our daily lives have dramatically changed.
Our lives have rarely, if ever, been ‘routine’.
Pandemics, wars, artificial intelligence and an evolving political landscape are just the latest developments that upended our previously routine existence. Only, our lives have rarely, if ever, been ‘routine’. Sure, there might have been the odd period where things seemingly didn’t change much, but I bet if you really thought about it, you’d fine a litany of examples that illustrated just how different your life had become over a given time period.
And that’s actually perfectly fine. Change is the natural state of the world. Everything that is living grows and evolves. Sometimes those changes can be beneficial, other times painful, but the fact remains that change will always be on the way, in some form or another. Seasons cycle, the sun and moon trade places and the Earth continues to rotate. Matter itself is not static. Atoms, electrons and particles, all are in a constant state of flux. So too does your blood pump, cells age and neurons fire.
Expecting change will help your mental wellbeing
So, if change is inevitable, why do we fight it? Part of the resistance comes down to preservation. It’s a survival technique. We often reason with ourselves at a sub-conscious level that our continued livelihood is based on our current conditions continuing. While that might be true on some level, it’s also very short-term thinking. Humans are naturally near-sighted thinkers, which is why we so often fail to see the benefits of future payoffs, or act upon issues that will impact us in the long run, even though it might be in our absolute best interests. The existential threat of climate change says hello.
If it aint broke, don’t fix it. And if it can be put off until tomorrow, let’s do that too.
Part of the twinge can also be chalked up to not wanting to stray out of the comfort zone. Yet venturing out from our secure space is precisely what will enable growth. It forces us to adapt, and in doing so we learn new skills and gain coping mechanisms that improve our resilience and fortify our resolve. Through this, we improve our outlook on life which can also buff our mental wellbeing.
That doesn’t mean that all change is necessarily good, or entirely stress free. It could very well be that acclimating to a new process or way of life might cause some friction or growing pains. But, armed with the knowledge that change is a constant, the good news is that you can start preparing for what may come. Or at least become flexible enough to both know that change is indeed coming and that a winning approach is to try and adapt to it as best you can.
The sooner you prepare, the faster you’ll be able to adapt, and the lower the chance you will be battling stress, anxiety or other poor mental health outcomes. Besides, change isn’t going to go away just because you don’t want to accept it. Resistance isn’t your friend here, adaptability is.
It will prevent you from becoming obsolete
At the very least, keeping up to date with what has (or will soon) change will ensure you remain contemporary. Take the latest developments in artificial intelligence as a good case study. Over the last few months, we’ve seen how AI can now be used to generate written content with surprising depth and detail. Software companies are rushing to stuff AI into every product and services, with it only being a matter of time before it is in widespread use by the general population, which has huge ramifications on how written content is generated and consumed.
For example, this change will likely disrupt paid-author models, lowering the level of skill required to write, enabling more people to push out more articles, faster. On the surface of it, this development will massively increase the competition for readership. The kneejerk reaction is to label this change as bad and AI as evil. Yet, it affords so many opportunities, once you take a moment to reflect upon it.
Accepting this change and preparing a transition path has helped improve the business, open my mind up to other opportunities and kept me feeling a sense of control over my destiny.
Accepting change and preparing a transition path has helped open my mind up to other opportunities and kept me feeling a sense of control over my destiny.
For me, the biggest opportunity here is to diversify my content strategy. AMR will soon be offering more video and audio content, finally delivering on the original vision of this site. I’m also taking this as a chance to advertise that our site features bespoke, non-AI generated, is detail-orientated and thought provoking. We’ll never be able to keep pace (at least content cadence and volume wise) with people who auto-generate AI articles in a bid to SEO-spam themselves into relevancy. And even then, what would they truly gain? Attention, but for a fleeting moment? Once the hooked audiences see that there is little substance beyond a catchy headline or two, they will quickly move on to the next page or video.
AI has many benefits and downfalls, some known and others unknown, just like the ongoing digital transformation movement that encapsulates it. But really, this is true of all change. These positives and negatives are often interpreted in different ways by different people, and just like our willingness to adapt to change, it often comes down to a matter of mindset.
I choose to evolve and adaptive, keeping my mind open and flexible, building my resiliency, pursuing opportunities and seeking growth.
And I’d invite you to do the same too. It makes for an easier and happier life.