I think it’s true to say that we go through life knowing what to expect more or less and with any small changes that come along, we’re usually equipped to cope. Because any small changes are not so different from the norm, they continue to have an overall sense of familiarity about them, because they’re small.
How do we cope with the changes we’re not expecting?
It could be anything from a significant event, to new information that we we’re not expecting that changes or invalidates our assumptions. Anything that isn’t familiar can automatically throw us into chaos, into unfamiliar territory as we begin to see our world in a whole new light.
Everything around us will then become unfamiliar and unpredictable as we try and work through the new presenting changes. Our thoughts may begin to change, our usual behaviour patterns don’t seem to work and we may suddenly begin to struggle with motivational issues, which didn’t seem to be too much of a problem before.
These changes may also leave us with unfamiliar thoughts and feelings, anxiety, stress and confusion, as we try to begin to understand. Until we become familiar, it’s never easy coping with new changes. Staying in control is important. It doesn’t matter if how you usually respond is not how you feel you should respond.
You may decide to focus on one part of the problem, so that the problem doesn’t seem too vast; or you may want to take complete control by working through the new information, in the hope that new information will bring about more familiarity. From my own experience it often does, but may not bring full familiarity.
Whilst we begin to work through change, I believe there are no right or wrong answers; it’s what works for us so that we begin to cope and feel better.