One of the ways that humans, as a species, have survived is the ability to adapt. Humans have had to learn to adapt to different temperatures, different topography, different availability of food sources, and even different oxygen pressures. In our modern society, we have to also adapt to rapidly changing conditions that are not necessarily environmental changes. We are bombarded daily, hourly, and even minute to minute by new information, news, events, and communications. For me, the last month in particular has felt like we are living in a constant soap opera where “reality” shifts at the speed of light.
It may be hard to assimilate these changes and we may find ourselves resisting and becoming mired in challenging emotions, like anger, sorrow, despair and a sense of being lost. Ultimately, though, humans’ innate ability to adapt tends to come through. We make a shift and what has seemed utterly alien begins to become more acceptable.
“When both good and bad things happen, at first you feel intense emotions,” says Sonja Lyubomirsky, distinguished professor of psychology at the University of California, Riverside. “Then you adjust and you go back to baseline. This is much more powerful with positive events. People don’t adapt as completely to negative change in their lives.”
One of the ways that humans can integrate seemingly negative changes more easily is to make new daily routines. By embedding new actions or thoughts into previously established patterns, changes can seem more acceptable. Hedonic adaptation is a more scientific name for this ability to make rapid changes and it is hard-wired into our brains. It helps us to adapt quickly and what may have seemed unimaginable a month ago is now possible.
Some of the changes we have been called upon to make may be positive despite the initial negative cause. Many people have been getting outdoors more than before; some people are changing their eating habits to more healthy patterns; and others are discovering that this period has allowed them to connect with people they had lost touch with. It has also been a time for people to remember or discern what is truly important to them. How can you use your innate ability to adapt to best serve you?
Sheila Peters is a certified Eden Energy Medicine Clinical Practitioner, Reiki Practitioner, and shamanic practitioner. She also teaches classes and workshops in Stretch/Body Awareness, Energy Body Tune-up, and Jazz Dance. For more information, email Sheila at: firstname.lastname@example.org, call 781-354-0725, or visit Sheila’s website at: www.energymedicineanddance.com.
© 2020 by Sheila Peters. All rights reserved.