By DAN MALEY

Change. Often we like change – a new outfit, a bathroom renovation, an upgrade to our cell phones. Yet some change can be overwhelming – especially when not looked for or expected.

Unexpected or unwanted change is often a challenge. And our response is often dramatic. We overreact, do too much, crowding out the issue by being busy. Or perhaps we under-react. We bury our head in the sand, act like it doesn’t really matter, and fail to rightly address the change. Of course, neither of these responses removes the great weight that appears to be hanging over our heads.

In between these extremes lies a great place of making change your permanent friend. After all, if Change is here to stay, we may as well make it a great companion for the road ahead.

So here’s some thoughts that you may find helpful.

1. It’s probably best to face facts.

Sometimes how change feels outweighs the reality. Your heart is screaming at you that something isn’t right, isn’t fair.

Think it out on paper. List the facts, and write down a list of actual impacts, so that you are only dealing what you have to deal with, and not the what if’s and if only’s. Feelings are a great indicator, not a good dictator. Let the facts determine your response.

2. Choose to grow

So, change has happened and you can’t necessarily do anything about it. But you can do something about you. Decide where in your character you can most benefit from this change.

Has a system at work made it harder for you to do your paperwork? Choose to encourage others around you to adjust. Has a family member or friend moved far away? Make a plan on how you will stay in touch and stick to it. Whatever happens in life, you can always learn, grow and mature.

3. Take a small step

You may not have all the answers yet. But you can probably find one thing to do that is positive. Even a small step is progress. Taking that first action can create a lot of useful energy, helping you become unstuck.

The point is we can choose to embrace change, not live in fear of it. You are better at handling change than you probably realize. After all, though we say nobody likes change, we often choose it.

Maybe change is not so much a problem; perhaps change is simply an opportunity beginning to reveal itself.