Expected or Unexpected? Adapting to Change

depressed Asian woman in deep many thoughts, having problem with over thinking

Expect the unexpected! Or so the saying goes. The fact of the matter is something new happens every day. The biggest surprises and the smallest shifts all play huge parts in how we adapt and react to change. Over the last 2 years, we’ve all had to face immeasurable change, both inside and outside of our offices. Change may be natural, but it can also be disruptive. When everything feels out of control, there are ways you can approach change in a holistic, healthy, and mindful way

Types of Change

There are two types of documented, studied changed: unexpected and expected. Both carry their own stressors, challenges, and opportunities. Unexpected change can be minor or significant—the nature and scale of the change ultimately packs the punch. Shifting to a remote workplace was an unexpected change, especially if you were only accustomed to on-site work. Expected change can also be positive or negative, but it’s deliberate, and sometimes even backed by data. A good example is quarterly reviews or developing webinars and lectures for a confirmed audience. Regardless of their type, these changes can be stressful.

A Stressful Situation

One of the ways our bodies react to change is stress. We feel stress as a natural reaction to our surroundings. The hormone cortisol is a component of our fight-or-flight response, invigorating us to push through our current situation. However, if we overload ourselves with too much stress, our cortisol balance can be thrown off. This can result in rapid weight gain, high blood pressure, muscle weakness, moodiness, and more. When we’re overstressed, we can feel powerless, but there are ways to manage stress induced by expected or unexpected change.

Healthy Habits

You can reduce harm to your overall health when faced with stressful changes. Breathing exercises, workouts, walks, and stretches—and ample rest—can help your body regulate cortisol. Taking time to unwind with friends, enjoy favorite activities, or even sing your favorite song can settle a stressful mind. Avoid drugs and alcohol, as these can escalate cortisol levels, even if they feel good at the time. If your stress persists and continues to overwhelm you or affect your health, seek professional help or counseling. Change isn’t easy, but it’s a natural part of all our lives. You don’t have to face these challenges alone. Monitor your health and keep your loved ones close for when the expected or unexpected becomes a challenge.

Alterity offers a variety of professional development courses that focus on trends and changes affecting the workplace today. Contact us an [email protected] to learn more.