Courtesy of dujarandille

There are so many problems in today’s society nowadays but it’s all a matter of perspective.

One of the biggest issues I am still learning is to go with the flow and accept any changes that come your way.

The Buddhists call this ‘Annica’ which is known as impermanence. Nothing stays the same. The cycle of life is always changing and you need to go with the changes in order to survive and adapt to the world.

What I’ve learned through Vipassana meditation is that by accepting change, my stress levels go down immensely. I keep telling myself that change is something I have no control over. It’s a given in life; just like death and taxes. So why not realise that this is a part of life and that you need to resolve any problem that comes as a result of a change.

I know of people who get upset with things they cannot control. This could be a change in the weather causing them grief or perhaps they don’t like how other people behave on a given day. People’s moods and behaviours will constantly change, depending on their mood on a particular day so it’s important to have an understanding that you too will change from day to day.

What the Buddhists say about Annica or Impermanence is that you don’t attach yourself to anything. You might like to have specific things but if you don’t have them, it’s not a big deal. You can cope with things that come and go. Your attachment doesn’t allow you to hurt anyone or yourself.

When you don’t attach yourself to anything, you don’t experience a craving for it. Craving creates yearning and a longing and this is a very strong emotion to have. It can lead to addiction whereby people hurt others just to secure their addiction. By detaching, you can take it or leave it, and you won’t hurt anyone. You can accept the lack of something. You are equanimous or balanced in mind.

Mindfulness is about ‘acceptance’ of what is rather than how you’d like it to be. Accept what you can’t control and change what you can control. If you cannot control a situation, accept that. It’s about self-awareness and noticing thoughts and sensations when change does arise. Being aware of emotions manifested in the body as sensations can help you to slowly detach and be less reactive to stressful situations.

Impermanence can be:

  • A broken relationship.
  • The changing seasons of the weather.
  • A death.
  • Milestones including graduating from school or university; ending a job and retiring; watching your children leave home; and so on.
  • The cycles of sleep that end or change.

Accept the cycles of change. You’d be miserable if you didn’t; because that’s just part of life.

Please leave a comment about any thoughts on the topic.