The nature of our existence in this life is change. From our souls being blown into the wombs of our mothers, to our entrance in this world. To the transition into the next life…

The most apparent changes to us, however, are the one that we experience in this life.

Changes in our family dynamics
Changes in our health
Changes in our work
And changes in the world!

From the time we have consciousness regarding our existence, we also have consciousness regarding change.

I am sure you have dealt with a child who was devastated that he or she has to stop playing at the park because it’s time to go home.

I am sure you have dealt in your own life or seen someone close to you get married, or buy a new home…
…something they were extremely excited for and knew it’s a beautiful new beginning, insha Allah, but when the time comes to move to the new house or to do the Nikah, they feel sadness and stress wash over them!

Personalities…

While change is truly inevitable in our existence and can feel challenging to any of us, there are certain personalities who will experience more stress around change.

Just like you DNA is different from mine in the hair color, eye color, and skin color we have, so is each one of us blessed with a different set of DNA for almost any other aspect of our existence. For example, what your temperament is regarding change has somewhat to do with the coding of your DNA. Or what your default way of thinking is in any kind of situation.

HOWEVER…that does not mean we are destined to stay that way forever. If we are not pleased with our default way of thinking and reacting, we can work towards making that easier for ourselves, insha Allah!

Past experiences…

Your past experiences is another variable in how you will handle change.

First, if change in your life meant really stressful situations, your brain has probably built a pattern around that notion. Now, every time change happens, your brain will detect danger and put you in an extra stressful state of mind. To the point that the stress and anxiety might even manifest itself in your physical body. For example, if you have been through really stressful changes in your past experiences, even a “normal” change now might feel extremely stressful to you and you might start sweating, or losing appetite, or feel anxious for days or even weeks, back to back.

Alternatively, in your past experiences, the grown-ups in your life might have behaved in a stressful, anxious, or depressed way around change. And now when change happens in your life, your brain will act in one of those ways because of stored memories. It has developed a pattern of: when X happens, I react in Y ways.

Neuroscience…

While you can be extremely excited about a new beginning. The complete opposite feeling of sadness and feeling depressed can simply co-exist because of your brain’s way of dealing with change.

When it comes to change our brain is not very good at distinguishing between the “good and happy” changes and the “sad and difficult” ones. It simply detects change and feels uneasy and uncomfortable about it.

So in general, personalities and past experiences set aside, change STILL feels hard to all of us. And the reason is this: Our brain’s main job is to keep us safe, and so preserve energy. So in order to save energy, our brains function best in familiarity…it tries to function in patterns that are familiar.

Automations…

For example something you do often: brushing your teeth. Your brain puts automation around it, meaning you will perform that behavior, without being conscious about it.

(Do you actively think when you are brushing your teeth? It kind of happens on it’s own, right?)

And the reason the brain automates certain behaviors, is that now it’s not losing any energy around that behavior. The subconscious part of the brain takes over and no more active thinking needed, which means energy is saved!

Any time a change comes into your life or YOU bring a change (Yes, EVEN when you know it’s something good) your brain has a tantrum. It doesn’t like to start doing something that is unfamiliar. Something that requires a lot of thinking and mental effort and drains the brain of energy. So it tells us: “No thank you!” and tries to protest and puts you in fight, flight, or freeze response, in the hope that you would change your mind and help the brain conserve energy.

Guess what most people do? You got it sis, most people quit a new behavior, because it feels too draining for them. Or their mind tries to convince them that this is actually not such a good idea. EVEN if they themselves know that this is good for them. That’s why building new habits is such hard work and can’t happen overnight.

But with the right mindset, tools, and strategies, you got this sis!

What you can do…

Regardless of where the hardship of change comes from, our personalities, our past, or simply because of our brain, Allah(swt) made you perfectly capable of tackling it. Because Allah(swt) says in the Quran that He will not burden a soul more than it can handle.

  1. Ask Allah(swt) for help. Here is the dua for when you feel anxious or stressed. And also ask in your own words!                                             
  2. When your brain is trying to convince you that you are in danger because of a change, talk to yourself and say this: “Thank you brain, I know you are trying to keep me safe, but this is not danger. This is very necessary for my wellbeing. We got this!”
  3. Make the change easier by having the right expectations, being kind but firm to yourself, and celebrating the small wins you make.

How you impact others…

The mindset you build around change and how you behave around change does not just end with you, dear sis. The people around you, especially if you have kids, will feed off your energy. No pressure at all, huh? Joking with you…

The point is, the biggest influence you have on your children and the people around you is by the attitude you choose to adapt when bringing change. You don’t have to be perfect. Simply trying your best will show in your energy levels. And the best lesson you give to yourself and to those around you is that of consistent, loving effort. And it is those kinds of effort that Allah(swt) will shower with His Mercy and Blessings.

I pray that Allah(swt) blesses you with all the beautiful and necessary changes you need in life, dear sis. And I pray that He(swt) makes those changes easy for you so you can be successful in this life and in the next!

My course UNSTUCK, which will help you as a mother feel empowered and equipped with the right mindset, tools and strategies, will open for registration on February 6th, insha Allah! In the mean time, if you would like to join a waitlist, click here.  I will contact you as soon as registration opens, insha Allah!