Why Change is So Hard
June marks Migraine & Headache Awareness Month, an annual campaign to make people more aware of the impact of migraine and headache disorders on everyone’s life. Lots of bloggers out there (including several of us from migraine.com) are responding to HMAM Blog Challenge posts this month. We’re using Migraine & Headache Awareness Month Blog Challenge prompts as a way to spread awareness of all the intricacies of migraine disease. June 25th’s topic is “Why Change Is So Hard.”
Several months ago, I had the opportunity to hear author, lecturer, and professor Dan Heath speak about psychology and its implications for the workplace and in the home. It was pretty fascinating. I was so happy to click on June 25th’s blog challenge link to find that the FastCompany video I was asked to watch, “Why Change Is So Hard,” features Mr. Heath himself. (He’s a really engaging speaker, and that shines through on the video—I recommend you search for it and watch!)
I’m in the midst of some really big changes myself. After not living in the same state as my parents for many years, they now live less than two miles away. This isn’t a bad change for me—in fact, I helped encourage them to move to Athens and am thrilled they’re here. It’s just a big change for me. In addition to their having just moved here, they also decided it’s time to sell my house, a house I’ve been renting from them for a decade now.
Though I knew this day was coming, the day we’d put the house up for sale and allow strangers to walk through it and evaluate it and decide if it’s something they want to make an offer on, it was still really sad to put the for sale signs in the yard. Suddenly I can’t let the house get as messy as I’d like. I also have to begin searching for a new place, though we’re not entirely sure when this place will sell. My home, something I’ve worked hard to establish for many years, will soon be sold to someone else. My parents more than deserve to let go of this house and reduce their commitments, and I think Jim and I are ready to find a rental somewhere else in town. But that doesn’t mean it’s not a difficult time.
The types of change Dan Heath describes in his video are more simplistic, but I think the truth of the research he explains remains intact: change is, in a word, exhausting. Even if we are exhilarated and ready for something new, our brain tires easily of new stimuli and new challenges. Until this new way of life becomes normalized, we are more likely to have shorter fuses and we are more likely to feel like we need to give our brains a rest.
What sort of changes, big or small, have you encountered in the last few months? What have you done to cope with these changes? How have these changes affected your health, especially as far as migraine is concerned?
Which are you most sensitive to?