Adjusting to Change:
3 Quick Techniques to Help during Transitions in Your Life
“The only constant in life is change.” Truer words have rarely been spoken. Change can be good. Life transitions and change can lead to a better future and are often necessary and/or out of our control. Yet the stress related to change can feel overwhelming. Whether you are trying to find a way forward after the loss of a loved one, beginning college, starting over after divorce or adjusting to retirement-change is both stressful and an opportunity for growth. Here are a few tips to help you cope with the stress of change:
1. Express your emotions…all of them
When a friend of family member dies, you expect to be sad. But what if you feel anger at the person who died or relieve that after a long, painful illness they’re no longer suffering and you’re no longer worrying. Retirement is supposed to mean freedom and happiness but what if you feel bored and lost after leaving the field you devoted your career to? Maybe you want to cry and scream and laugh all at the same time about the same situation.
While we want and expect emotions to be simple, it’s more common to experience a wide range of emotions when major life changes occur. You may be tempted to ignore unwanted feelings, but acknowledging the conflicting emotions will do more to bring you freedom and peace.
2. Be flexible
It takes time to find a new normal and things rarely go the way we envision. Expect the unexpected and give yourself permission to be imperfect. Rather than getting caught up in how things “should” be, focus on each moment as it arrives so you can mindfully, purposefully do what is needed.
3. Find Support
Everyone needs a little help sometimes and moments of change are often when we need support the most. Be willing to reach out and ask for what you need. We often try to prove we can make it alone or hope someone will offer the help we need In reality, people often want to help but don’t know how. Pick up a phone and call a friend to vent. Ask your pastor to talk. Invite a friend over to cry over a cup of coffee.
Counseling for Life Transitions
Mental health therapists have special training for helping people navigate change and grow through adversity. If you are in the Columbia, MO area and want to talk about how counseling can help you or your loved one start over after divorce, adjust to retirement, move forward after loss or cope with any other life transition you can learn more about our services or contact us today. We will match you with a therapist who can help you with your specific situation. Are you ready to move forward? Healing starts here.