The sound of change gives us the shivers and sweaty palms. Some would start an endless cycle of sleepless nights and some would have the shadows of fear, crippling their muscles slowly and painfully. Why is the fear of change so common amongst humans?
The human body is a magnificent complex system that works following a precise pace of activities, a universe of perfectly timed actions and reactions. We live the rhythm with every heart- beat and breath and movement. The human mind is a master metronome in action, and it doesn’t like to be interrupted, modified or moreover reset.
Since birth, we crave routines and repetitions as a fertile soil for our intelligent brain to develop in. We grow resilient and calm in a structured routine and we feel safe knowing what to expect next. We like flowing with the beat just like in a party, the more flow we have, the more relaxed and happy we get.
While growing up in a healthy environment, we learn to cope with change, to react to it appropriately and to adapt to changes in life events. If our surrounding is confident enough, we will learn well but if we are surrounded by anxious people, we copy the same pattern of behaviour and we take some wrong turns. We might unfortunately learn to choose anxiety over coping strategies. I am not trying to blame “the others” as the fear of change is in fact a normal reaction of the brain. It is an alarm that goes off when something changes in the routine. However, the fear of change can be manageable or not, big or small, beneficial or destructive, depending on how we were taught to perceive minor changes and how we were taught to react and act to unexpected or even expected turns of events.
Uncertainty. No one likes it but some people tolerate co-existing with it for a certain period until they gather enough inputs and feedback allowing them to take further steps and actions. Some people would just collapse or freeze. Uncertainty is like that moment between your take off and your landing. Some people would not even jump because of that.
Change comes to shake our world that is certain, but change is a many-faced spirit that could hide the good and the bad. Change comes with fermentation. Pickling food for instance is a process of change applied to raw vegetables to turn them into a preserved food with a more complex and interesting taste. Change takes time. Change comes with fermentation. When change must happen, give your brain some time to process it, to plan and to adapt to it. Don’t rush change but also don’t over think it. Just catch the rhythm of change and flow with it. You will land on your feet before you know it. It is either the fear of change or the change of fear.
Photo taken by Rindala S. in South of Portugal in Spring 2017.