Change for the New Year

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We’ve probably all heard, “The only thing you can count on is change,” and similar sayings.  Change seems to happen around us constantly, and, yet, when we set out to change something about ourselves or about our life, we can face incredible difficulty.  It might help to learn a little bit about the process of change if you’re hoping for something different for your life in the new year.

First off, know that it’s not only you who is resistant to change.  Fundamentally, we all struggle with it.  In fact, on a biological level as well as a psychological one, we are constantly reacting to changes and seeking to maintain a balance.  This is called homeostasis, a fancy word meaning to stay the same.  We have a drive for sameness and a resistance to change, and this is, in part, why creating change in our lives can be challenging.

There are some basic steps to the change process.  The first step is thinking about what you want to change.  Then it is time to get a plan together with details as to how you will implement the change.  At this point, keep in mind to be realistic in setting your goals.  Next it is time to put your plan into action.  The action part of this process may, at first glance, seem like the most valuable.  However, if appropriate time is not spent on the thinking and planning stages, success is less likely to occur.  As you implement the change, evaluate how it is going.  It is helpful to have someone to provide perspective and support throughout the change process.  It is important to recognize that change is exactly that, a process, and it takes time to accomplish.  Remember to celebrate even small moves toward your goal.

You can increase your chances of creating lasting change in your life by asking for help along the way.  At Brookhaven Hospital, we offer inpatient services as well as outpatient therapy.  We have a caring and professional staff with experience in the treatment of mental health issues and substance abuse.

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