Experience and the literature inform us that transitions or changes in life are inevitable. Life Coaches need to convey that message to all clients who experience difficulties and clearly explain them that people can fight changes, flee from them or preferably accept that they need to prepare for and adapt to the changes in some way.
 
It is certainly important to have confidence in being able to plan for and adapt to change, by having skills and knowledge that one knows will work, by building resilience and the emotional strength to problem solve and make decisions.
 
Coaches can work with clients to help them becoming proactive rather than reactive to change. It means that the clients are in charge, by creating and welcoming a change, not becoming a victim of transition.  Here are some tips how to help clients cope with change:
 
Anticipation of change – identifying factors leading to change and planning for change requires flexibility of mind, not rigidity. Davey (1992, cited in Dadds, Seinen, Roth & Harnett’s, 2000, 15) stated: “Outcome expectancy models of anxiety postulate that humans develop an expectation of outcome based on a variety of sources of information and existing beliefs.

Hence, existing beliefs in highly anxious persons tend to lead to an overestimation of threat and an underestimation of coping resources.” Having a clearer informed knowledge of change and what it may really entail can help to prevent exaggeration of the nature and consequences of change or transition.
 
Maintenance of friendships and social networks – to maintain or develop new interests and activities will stop your clients from stagnating. They might accept new challenges armed with confidence, skills and knowledge.
 
Physical and emotional health care – The strength of body and mind is necessary to meet the challenges involved in change or transition. Regular exercise, a good balanced and nutritious diet, quality sleep and relaxation and limiting stimulates like alcohol, coffee and other substances will help a person to feel energised and able to cope with stress.
 
Use of relaxation techniques – since stress is a natural part of life and adapting to change is stressful, learning how to relax a body and mind can be helpful. Activities such as yoga, tai chi, qigong (Lin, 2000), listening to relaxing music or relaxation tapes (from local bookstores or libraries), going for a bush walk or a walk along the beach, meditation, developing breathing techniques for relaxation and so on are some ways in which to cope with stress and restore harmony and balance.
 
Keeping an open mind – It is about staying objective and avoid jumping to conclusions too quickly without understanding the nature of change and its consequences. Your client may well like the change when at first it didn’t look too inviting.
 
Gather information for learning – fear of the unknown can be a great source for cultivating a cycle of distress and ignorance. Change or transition can foster uncertainty for many people. By understanding how change works and what the change may entail builds clients’ confidence to adapt to change.
 
You could advise your client to do some research on the internet or go to their local library and study what change may bring. Being prepared and having some knowledge can reduce the uncertainty and the fear of the unknown that drives anxiety and stress.
 
Gradually building the changes – ‘limit the pace of change’ – trying to tackle big changes all at once is a recipe for failure – it is just too stressful and consuming of your clients’ time and energy. It is easier to tackle and adjust to smaller changes at a time so that the clients can have control over what they understand and how they deal with the change.
 
Trying to tackle and adjust to big changes may become too overwhelming and they may end up becoming too stressed and develop depression or anxiety if they fail.
 
A support group – experience can be a great teacher. Other people who have experienced transition or change may be able to share their story or stories with you. The purpose of a support group is to assist with understanding and to support one another as they try to cope with change.
 
Sense of humour – we know that life should not be all doom and gloom. We all have the capacity to laugh and find humour in the craziest of things. Change can be stressful so having a sense of humour can break down the seriousness a bit and make change look not so daunting or tough.
 
Humour is good for body and mind as it releases pent up energy and reduces the build up of cortisol that is released during stress, especially chronic levels of stress where high levels of cortisol can be damaging to the body and brain and to fighting off infections and wound healing.
 
Source: www.mentalhealthacademy.com.au