How to Deal with Change Positively at Work While Helping Others
As recent years have proven, change can be forced upon us whether we want it or not. Workplaces have had to adapt to accommodate new policies, procedures, and arrangements. Work priorities and roles have evolved. The massive shift from the traditional nine-to-five job to remote/hybrid employment is currently occurring.
Change is difficult to accept. However, companies have to keep up with trends and technology to remain relevant. Ignoring change because of the painful adjustment period will stunt a company’s growth.
Some of us talk to our colleagues about the changes we’d like to see at work. When things actually change, we fight it because we’re afraid of the unknown. What if this change isn’t for the better? What if it makes life worse?
Change takes us out of our comfort zones. It can be a scary place somewhere we don’t feel comfortable. However, once we encounter change and accept that it’s inevitable, we then begin to create a new comfort zone. The new norm becomes simply the norm.
How can you deal with change positively at work? How can you deal with change while helping others? What happens to your body when you’re faced with change? How can you manage your stress?
Let’s take a closer look at how leaders can help their organizations through change.
What Happens to Your Body When You Deal With Change
The mere thought of change can invoke stress. How our bodies react to stress is natural. How we get through ongoing stressful events brought on by workplace changes is up to us.
What is stress?
Stress is a biological response to internal and external stimuli. People react differently to various situations. Some people sweat. Some people get sick. Some develop physiological issues. Stress can trigger or aggravate new and existing conditions.
Stress responses start in the brain. A section of the brain called the amygdala sends a signal to another area of the brain called the hypothalamus. This area communicates with the body via the nervous system, giving the person the strength to fight or flee.
From here, several things begin to happen in the body. Adrenaline raises blood pressure and heart rate. Breathing becomes fast – not because of a lack of oxygen. Your body needs more oxygen to send to the brain as it deals with stress. The senses become acute. Epinephrine enables blood sugar and fats to be released, fueling the body.
All of this can happen before you realize it.
And it’s hard to stop the process once it’s begun.
People who are told that they’re going to undergo a significant change at work can experience all of the previously mentioned symptoms. It’s nothing to be ashamed of. The mind and body are functioning as they should. The fight-or-flight response can save lives in dangerous situations. What comes after the initial stress event is important. Handling change can restore control, minimizing the side effects of ongoing stress.
Long-term stress can severely harm your health.
Studies have shown that stress can physically alter the brain, impacting cognition, memory, and the ability to respond to stress. Continuous exposure to stress can result in:
- memory and concentration impairment
- sleep problems
Health problems caused by stress don’t end with the brain. The rest of your body can be harmed by prolonged stress in any of the following ways:
- digestive problems
- heart attack
- heart disease
- high blood pressure
- muscle tension and pain
- weight gain
Why do we react to stress the ways we do?
Other than the fight-or-flight being hard-coded into our DNA, we react to stress based on genetics and what we’ve already been through in life.
Some people don’t handle stress well not because they give up too quickly, but because their genes were not built for the task. Nature can betray the best intentions.
Life experiences shape our outlooks and responses. Trauma is probably the single most significant factor in how people react to stress. The slightest change can upset a trauma survivor depending on what they’ve gone through.
What Happens to Your Environment When You Deal With Change
Imagine an office staff told that a policy has been approved and will be effective soon. The change will happen. What do they do?
Chances are, they talk. Denials begin.
“I’m not doing that. It’s dumb.”
Every staff member has an opinion and the loudest ones are heard. A normally calm office environment has been turned on its ear. Rumors begin to circulate, snowballing as they make the rounds. Morale begins to plummet. Employees start to not put as much effort into their jobs as before. Anger boils over. Employees bicker among themselves. The workplace suffers because they were not taught how to positively deal with change.
On the opposite end, a workplace led by understanding and knowledgeable managers can get over the initial shock and begin to accept the transition. Although they might not completely be on board with the change, they can shoulder it and continue with business as usual.
Tips to Deal With Change
Positively at Work
Some people can’t help but be stressed. Workplace leaders can use several methods to reduce the harmful effects of long-term stress. These tips can be shared with employees, colleagues, and anyone else who experience any kind of job-related change.
Frequently communicate with your employees.
During a notable transition, open communication can make a world of difference. Addressing concerns early on can help ease people’s fears. Soliciting questions and feedback can assist you in gaining a better understanding of your workplace’s mindset.
Point out the benefits the transition can bring. If employees consider how their jobs and work environments will be positively influenced, they might be more receptive to the new normal. Try to not criticize the change even if you don’t agree with it. If the people you work with sense hostility, then they may feel that their hesitation is justified.
Confide in family
Know the change
inside and out.
You should take care of yourself before you take care of others. Once the transition occurs, you should use a personal day to recharge your batteries and avoid burnout. Self-care isn’t selfish if it results in a better state of mind and body.
This is true of your employees, too. If you’re a manager, then giving your employees time off can benefit them as well.
Tips for Managing Your Own Stress
Stress can rob us of sleep. When we can’t sleep, our bodies can’t repair themselves. Try to get 7 to 9 hours of sleep a day. A proper diet can help achieve this total.
Practice relaxation techniques
Yoga, deep breathing, massage, and meditation can reduce tension, regulate the heart, and ease thoughts. Visualizing calm scenes or thinking about a peaceful word can help steady the mind.
Writing about your thoughts can be cathartic. Seeing them on paper can also provide perspective and help you through a tough time. You can also write about the good things in your life and what you’re grateful for.
Grab my journal that gives you boosts of happy hormones today –
GRAPES: Journal for My Happiness
Get a hobby
Doing something you like can give you pleasure and keep your mind busy. Reading, music, dancing, gardening, and movies are common ways to pass the time.
prioritize your life.
Search online for
blogs, articles, etc.
Mindfulness tips can help you discover how to create a meaningful journey toward ultimate happiness. Once you find your way, you can help others improve their mental and physical wellness.
Why You Should Get
Your Stress Under Control
Following meaningful tips can help you and others deal with change positively at work. Getting stress under control is essential for:
- maintaining positive workplace relationships
- contributing to the workplace
- enhancing adaptability
- promoting professionalism
- reducing negative health effects
Managing stress isn’t easy. If it was, then every workplace would be stress-free in the face of changes. Fortunately, there are many ways managers can help themselves and their employees.
Healthy lifestyle motivation can be difficult to attain under stressful conditions. It can be a battle, but it’s one worth fighting. By following health and serenity tips, you can deal with workplace changes and aid others.
If you’re trying to balance caring for others, whether they are elderly or children, while you work, then you know the struggle can be overwhelming. Are you putting the people you care about before yourself? Are you putting your job before yourself?
You can’t sacrifice self-care for the sake of others!
How can you take care of a loved one if you don’t attend to your health first?
My book, Self-Care for Family Caregivers is your guide to finding balance. Once you learn how to find “me-time,” you can stay active and healthy without feeling guilty. You can be empowered to take action to improve and enhance your environment and habits.
Backed by the latest scientific research, Self-Care for Family Caregivers can teach you how to:
- improve communication
- understand your body
- become aware of your environment
- address emotional needs
Maya Angelou said, “If you don’t like something, change it. If you can’t change it, change your attitude.”
Your frame of mind directs how you react to stress in any situation. Altering your approach with Self-Care for Family Caregivers can allow you to handle demanding circumstances without falling apart – and the change starts with you.