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Commentary: Dealing with your worst enemy: change

Everyone at one point or another has had to deal with the worst enemy of all time: change. Many of us know what change is but do we know the true definition? The definition of change has various meanings, including “to become different” or “to become something else.” But, those meanings are describing yourself, not what is going on around you. Sure, you go through changes with your body, and sometimes personality-wise, but the biggest changes you will ever have to face in your life will have to deal with your surroundings.

Maybe you’re moving to a different part of your town or even to another state, or you could find out that the person who you thought was your best friend actually isn’t. These changes could have a huge impact on our lives, and could therefore cause us to go into states of depression or anxiety. So how do you cope?

First, you should be prepared. Death, loss and strange situations will be a part of your life, so the best thing is to be able to accept the reality of change and its inevitability. Next, notice the signs. If you know that a loved one is sick, look up the illness that he or she has. If you are moving to another state or country, research as much as you can about that particular area before you move. Also, when going through a change, try thinking about the positives of that situation. I know that it might be hard, but trust me, it will help you out a lot in the long run. There are positives to every situation.

Second, face your feelings, especially when the change is beyond your control. Figure out what your fears and worries are. That takes some work. Reflect on what you are accepting, rejecting and what you are doing something about. For example, start a journal where you can write down your feelings.

Then, adopt an attitude of anticipation and be grateful. Think of change as an opportunity. Start by keeping a journal for three days. Throughout those three days, write down things that you are grateful for. You will be surprised at how much this helps.

Lastly, learn to relax more and set smart goals. Deep breathing works for many people, along with exercise. Smart goal-setting helps you decide how to make the change happen and to recognize your successes. Write out your goals and plan to meet them.

One more important thing: Communicate with supportive people about your feelings. They will be able to help, love and support you throughout the change.

Cassandra Mihalczo is a sophomore at Sacred Heart Academy.