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Amanda Stuart


How to change your life – for a happier you!

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Change is something that has interested me for a long time. As human beings it is really hard to change. We develop patterns of behaving, reacting and feeling and once established, these patterns are hard to alter.

I believe one of the reasons for this difficulty, is that what is known and familiar is comfortable even if we don’t want to be that way because it’s not good for our own growth and happiness.

What I have often observed when working with clients is that changing patterns of behaviour leads to anxiety – the question is often “If I’m not the same as I am now, what will I be like? What will people think of the new me? Will they like me?”

Once anxiety kicks in, it’s tempting to revert to the old, known way of being.

At times, changing our behaviour involves separating from friends or family members – finding a new way of living that doesn’t really fit with the way the rest of the family lives life. This is particularly hard, because our family has been there since the day we were born. We want to belong, whatever the cost.

I am reminded of a client who was drinking heavily, along with her close group of single friends, all of whom were heavy drinkers. It was they way they relaxed and partied on weekends. My client knew that the level of drinking was unhealthy for her – she wasn’t sleeping well, her weight had soared and she constantly felt anxious and depressed – and needing a drink! She didn’t want to lose her friends.

Once she was able to change – to begin to look after herself and to limit her drinking – her life improved dramatically. She changed jobs, met a good man, and felt in control of her own life. She did lose a couple of friends along the way, but was aware that this was a necessary step. I recall her telling me she felt she needed to introduce her “new self” to everyone in her life.

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