The only constant in life is change. Yes, change can be fun and exciting, but it can also be stressful and overwhelming. The good news is that mindfulness techniques can help us choose how we respond when things don’t go to plan
Techniques to help you cope with change
It’s 11pm, you’re waiting to fly home to Auckland from Los Angeles and you’ve just been bumped off your flight because the plane is over-booked. The airline has offered to put you and your partner up in a hotel for the night and get you on the same flight out tomorrow. In the flurry of displaced passengers, you mishear which hotel you’re meant to be heading to and get in a taxi to a completely different one on the other side of LA – with a concierge who, of course, has no idea where you’re meant to be or what on earth you’re talking about.
You go back to LAX at 1am (with a taxi driver who’s minutes away from falling asleep at the wheel) only to realise the airport’s now closed and the only way to get any information is to send a tweet to the airline in New Zealand and try to get them to solve the problem for you.
Sounds like a nightmare, right? Well, it happened to me a few years ago and I’m still baffled by how calm I managed to remain throughout the whole experience. From the moment we realised we were at the wrong hotel, I knew there were two ways I could deal with the situation. 1) Get anxious, stressed and frustrated – which would stress out my boyfriend and the other stranded passenger we’d brought along for the ride. Or 2) Remain calm, go with the flow and have confidence that it would all work out and I’d have a great story to tell at the end of it, which was the state of mind I chose to adopt.
In the end, we made it to the correct hotel around 3am and flew out the next day, but it was this experience that showed me that we really do have control over the way we react to change, whether that’s a sudden, unexpected problem (like my situation) or something more dramatic and longer-lasting such as losing your job or home.