Going the distance

Coping with change: Stop stressing and start adapting

By Edward T. Creagan, M.D. May 8, 2010

Without a doubt, technological advances such as the laptop and the smart phone have created the best of times and also the worst of times. It's hardly a surprise that the word "burnout" and the word "cyberspace" came into use at about the same time. It can feel like we're at the mercy of technology and that coping with change is our full time job.

Indeed, my company recently introduced a new software package. Prior to launching the program, they provided extensive education about the software. A few of my colleagues, however, bristled at having to learn a new system. Rather than coping with change, they dug in their heels. They skipped the training and now they're increasingly agitated by their inability to use the system.

It occurred to me that while we may not like change — especially when it's imposed on us — we can't keep it from happening. What can we do? We can choose how we react. We can whine and complain about our fate and assume the victim posture. Or we can acknowledge our discomfort and say to ourselves, "OK, this happened and it's not fair, but what can I do about it?"

In other words, we can invest our energy in feeling sorry for ourselves or we can invest it in figuring out how to adapt and even thrive. Of course things don't always go our way, but there's always something we can do to ensure that tomorrow will be better than today.

The next time you're faced with change, how will you choose to respond?


Edward T. Creagan, M.D.

Follow on Twitter: @EdwardCreagan

Join the discussion at #Stress.

May 08, 2010