Embracing Change: Transforming Your Mindset And Lifestyle For A Happier Life

Medically reviewed by Laura Angers Maddox, NCC, LPC
Updated March 30, 2023by BetterHelp Editorial Team

Change can be challenging, whether a significant change or a minor one. However, embracing change can lead to personal growth, fulfillment, and healthier relationships. People who welcome change and adapt to new situations may also experience improved mental health, including decreased anxiety and depression.

Cultivating a mindset that welcomes change can improve your resilience, allowing you to cope with unexpected events and setbacks. By transforming your mindset and lifestyle to embrace change, you can open yourself up to new opportunities and experiences that bring happiness and fulfillment.

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Understanding Resistance To Change

Change can be challenging and bring up various emotions. Feeling uncomfortable or uncertain when faced with a new situation, life circumstance, or idea can be natural. For many, a fear of the unknown may prompt this discomfort. As you may be unable to predict what will occur in the future, feeling uncertain can cause worry, stress, or other mental health challenges.

Another reason why change can be challenging is the fear of failure. You may worry that you won't be able to succeed in the new situation or make mistakes along the way. Fear of loss can also contribute to resistance to change; when facing a change that threatens to take away a significant part of your life, it can be difficult to embrace it.

Embracing change can be tough but can also bring significant personal growth, fulfillment, and healthier relationships. Those open to change and adjusting to new situations may experience better mental health outcomes, such as decreased anxiety and depression symptoms. Moreover, building a mindset that welcomes change can boost resilience, enabling you to cope with unexpected events and recover from setbacks. Being open to change can also increase creativity, as you may be challenged to think outside the box and develop innovative solutions.

Another potential factor contributing to resistance to change is the fear of losing control. When there is little control over a situation, individuals may resist change to hold on to a sense of control. Additionally, a lack of understanding or awareness of the benefits of change can prohibit embracing it. Facing your fear of change and identifying the factors contributing to resistance can be crucial steps in learning to embrace it.

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How To Shift Your Mindset

Shifting your mindset can be essential in embracing change and leading a happier life. A growth mindset can also be valuable when adapting to new situations because it promotes seeing challenges as opportunities for growth. This mindset often involves believing abilities and intelligence can be developed through work, dedication, and a willingness to learn. It might also involve embracing challenges as opportunities for growth rather than seeing them as threats.

Challenge Unwanted Thoughts

When adopting a growth mindset, try to challenge unwanted thoughts, identify negative self-talk, and replace them with more positive and empowering thoughts. For example, instead of thinking, "I can't do this," try thinking, "I may not be able to do this yet, but with practice and effort, I can learn and improve." This practice is called cognitive restructuring, a common strategy in cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT).

Practice Positive Affirmations

Positive affirmations may also help you shift your mindset towards growth and positivity. Forbes quotes CJ Bathgate, Ph.D., a clinical psychologist in the Division of Neurology and Behavioral Health at National Jewish Health. He states, "A positive affirmation is a concise, realistic statement that embodies something we value, whether it's who we want to be or what we want in life. Our brains are always looking for shortcuts and tend to latch onto thoughts that come up the most or are the most easily accessible."

For example, repeating, "I am capable and resilient" or "I embrace change and growth" can help shift a mindset towards a more positive and growth-oriented perspective. By regularly practicing positive affirmations, individuals can build their self-confidence and resilience, which can help them better adapt to change and overcome obstacles.

Below are a few positive affirmations you can try for embracing change:

  • "I commit to always trying my best." 
  • "I am proud of myself."
  • "I choose change, even when it's hard."
  • "I will get through this change."
  • "I am strong, capable, and worthy of positive change." 
  • "Change is a teacher."
  • "I am growing and can't wait to see where I end up."

Focus On The Present Moment

In addition to challenging negative thoughts and practicing positive affirmations, try to focus on the present moment and cultivate gratitude for what you have. Mindfulness practices, such as meditation or deep breathing exercises, can help individuals stay present and reduce anxiety and stress. Additionally, taking time to reflect on what you're grateful for, such as your relationships, accomplishments, or personal strengths, can help you develop a more growth-oriented mindset.

Seek Social Support

Overcoming obstacles to change can be challenging, but seeking support can make a significant difference. Reach out to friends and family for emotional support, and consider joining a support group or local club to feel a sense of belonging and encouragement during times of change. Knowing that others understand can help individuals feel less alone and more motivated to embrace change.

Overcoming Obstacles To Embracing Change

Change is a complex and often daunting process, and it can be challenging to embrace it fully. Feelings of fear and uncertainty are common obstacles that can hinder progress. The fear of the unknown, fear of failure, and fear of loss can all contribute to resistance to change. These fears can manifest in various ways, such as feelings of anxiety or depression or avoidance behaviors that prevent an individual from taking steps towards achieving their goals and living a fulfilling life.

Reframing one's mindset towards change can help overcome obstacles. Rather than seeing change as a threat, individuals can view it as an opportunity for growth and learning. This shift in mindset can help individuals approach change with a sense of curiosity and openness rather than fear and resistance. 

Time supports this with a quote from Tim Judge, a professor at the Ohio State University's Fisher College of Business. He states, "Instead of letting ambition rule your life, you can adopt a 'growth mindset," which refers to the belief that intelligence is not fixed and can be fostered. Judge says it may be healthier to strive for growth—learning or honing a skill, or cultivating a trait you admire in others—rather than concrete goals like getting a certain job title or salary."

Accepting change is also a core concept of dialectical behavior therapy (DBT), which helps those experiencing intense emotions cope. One skill from DBT is called radical acceptance, which involves accepting the changes you cannot control. It showcases how emotional pain and growth can co-exist and that accepting your feelings doesn't necessarily mean they are fun or easy. It allows individuals to understand the changes they go through while working on coping with their emotional distress.

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Counseling Options

Seeking professional guidance from a therapist or counselor can also be beneficial, as they can provide advice in navigating the challenges of change. A therapist can help individuals develop coping strategies for managing anxiety and stress and can offer a safe space to express emotions and work through complicated feelings.

Online therapy has become popular for individuals looking to embrace change and transform their mindset and lifestyle for a happier life. One of the primary benefits of online therapy is its increased convenience; individuals can have therapy sessions from the comfort of their homes or wherever they have an internet connection. Online therapy also allows individuals to schedule appointments at a convenient time without needing to factor in travel time to and from a therapist's office or standard office hours.

One study analyzed the real-world effectiveness of digital mental health services during the COVID-19 pandemic and found that digitally delivered care with a therapist or coach improved subjective well-being and clinical improvement in depressive symptoms. If you're interested in receiving the benefits of internet-based counseling, consider signing up with a platform like BetterHelp, where you can be matched with a therapist according to your preferences for care, allowing you control over how you receive support.


Change is often a part of life, but it can be challenging to cope with. When coping with a change that is difficult for you, having support can make a difference. You're not alone in these feelings; a licensed therapist or counselor can guide you as you make decisions and lean into your personal growth. Consider contacting a therapist online or in your area to get started. 

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