I've just moved house.
Well, actually I still have one more day of cleaning to do before I can hand over the keys, and the last time I moved was only a year ago, but let me tell you.... I've really enjoyed it.
Don't get me wrong, moving is stressful. Some studies apparently show it is even more stressful than divorce. But is that really true? For some people it might be.... this is about how we perceive our situation.
Ok, here comes the 'bookish' part. I'll get to those 3 Ways to Enjoy Moving House soon.... promise!
Psychologist Richard Lazarus is known for his work on stress and coping – in 1984 he co-wrote 'Stress, Appraisal and Coping' with Dr Folkman. In it they argue that stress often has less to do with a person's actual situation than with how the person perceived the strength of his own resources.
Here's a very handy graphic to illustrate:
At this stage, Lazarus would say that "a little fooling yourself can be helpful” (as he once told Newsweek magazine). Deciding 'I have the resources to deal with this' can completely transform your view of the whole situation. As the graphic shows, you will experience far less stress!
So, back to my schlepping boxes around for my house move..... how have I enjoyed it?
- Packing up and slimming down
And I also played at 'how much stuff can I get rid of?' Slimming down is always a good idea – once you've moved, you don't want to find that next time you move you're just moving stuff you haven't used all that time. Get Rid! The craziest things happen when you do this..... I found a little stationary set I got when I was twelve - never going to use that!
The upshot – it's all a bit of a game, so play it!
- Cleaning in Silence
- Unpacking like its Christmas
So if you're moving soon or facing a big change like a job transition or relationship change, remember to assess your resources and be heartened by how powerful you are! Even if the event comes with a certain amount of stress, your attitude will have a massive impact on how much you enjoy it.
Content ideas and written by: Heidi Hollis
Lazarus, R.S. & Folkman, S. (1984). Stress, appraisal, and coping. New York: Springer.