How To Deal With Change In Life

change mindset stress Mar 22, 2022

Your brain is primed to focus on the stress of your current circumstances - especially when you're going through change.

But there is going to be a time in the future when you look back on today and think "Gee...those were the good old days". 

Watch this video to shift perspective.


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Why Nostalgia?

What were those things or moments that you look back on in your childhood that you really, really love?

 For me, one of them was getting to go to the DQ. On hot summer nights, we'd convince my mom and we'd go uptown. I was young enough that I didn't know everything on the menu, but for some reason, I was always, always all about the cherry Mr. Misty. Cold, sweet, delicious. But this really got me thinking a lot lately about “the good old days.”

And it all really started with a conversation that I recently had with our daughter, Bella, who's on the brink of turning 22. She's on the brink of graduating college and she lives in L.A. So she was just home for the weekend, and we were driving in the car and talking.

And she said, "Man, I really miss being in San Diego. Things were so much easier then. I really only had to do three things: work, bike, and work out. Life was just so good and easy.”

And my response was “what?!”

OK, we gotta talk for a second about “the good old days” or nostalgia.

(Now I'm not talking about the nostalgia of all of the favorite TV shows that you totally had to be home for to watch or that you'd stay up for on Friday nights. Or the toys that were always on the Christmas list that were the must haves. Or just hanging out with friends where you felt like you really didn't have a care in the world.)

I'm talking about the nostalgia that pops up when we're going through periods of transition or change, or just when things feel really uncertain or uncomfortable.

So you've heard me say this before:

Change triggers the stress response.

And so what research has shown is that nostalgia can be this stabilizing force in our lives. So it reminds us of who we are and where we've been. It unites a comfortable past with an uncertain future.

Nostalgia is just very comforting when we're feeling really uncomfortable.

But one of the problems with "the good old days" or nostalgia is that we're super selective about how and what we remember.

So I turned to her. I said, “OK, I'm sorry, you were kind of a nightmare. You hated your job. You would come home from work and just talk about how horribly stressful the whole day was. Rude customers who totally made you cry. You were always feeling like you were falling behind in your life because of COVID. Like what's happening with school. Things aren't going according to plan. You felt like you were failing at life because you had to move back home during the pandemic. It was super hard for you to meet people, so you were feeling kind of lonely. You were super stressed out and anxious all of the time.”

So it can be really easy to get caught up in the stress of our current day-to-day lives, especially when we're going through a lot of change. But there is going to be a time in the future when you look back at things right now and think:

Oh, those were the good old days

Which means:

These are the good old days right now.

Even though we have stress, even though bad things are happening.

So why not experience right now as the good old days? What is going on in your life right now that you're going to be nostalgic about later on?

Enjoy it.

And oh man, did I totally forget about that Mr. Misty brain freeze and how quickly you're just left with a glass of white ice. Maybe nostalgia is not necessarily all that.


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