One of the few certainties in life is that change will happen, so it makes sense to develop the skills to manage it when it comes your way.

Change is part of normal life but it can be all too easy to become worried or anxious about it and, as a result, miss out on many wonderful experiences. Life would be very dull without change.

You can't change what 'life' throws your way but you do have the power to change the way you respond to those events. It's a choice you make.

A positive response can influence what life throws back!

In order to live life to the full, we need to embrace and learn from new experiences – good and bad. The knack is not in reacting, but in learning to respond in a way of your choice.

Change occurs for all sorts of reasons. It may be a carefully planned decision like moving home or changing jobs, but it can also be a sudden, enforced life change we have no control over. Redundancy and illness are enforced, unplanned changes, ones that can change your very identity. However, we can use similar approaches to all change that occurs in our lifetime.

The business world has a vast amount of literature on managing change, much of which can be adapted for personal use. Core to success is the maintainance of a positive identity, high self esteem and flexibility in thinking processes which will enable you to adapt, respond and take control in a positive way. A supportive group of friends will make the process easier.

Surfing the crest of change is easier with friends than treading water alone, so use our Forums and the tips below to seek the support you need.

Our thanks go to Professor Lance McCracken, Professor of Behavioural Medicine, King's College, London, UK, for giving us permission to reproduce his quote below:

"It's one thing to have our pain and emotions and another to be ruled by them, one thing to live our life and another to live in our thoughts about our life, one thing to make choices according to what we hold as important and another to helplessly act as our habits will have us do..."

Lance M. McCracken, PhD. Extract taken from Living Well with Pain and Illness by Vidyamala Burch.

Click for Tips for living life to the full.