Changes or transitions are sometimes difficult to manage because it means that the original plans that were set in motion didn’t pan out. Some common transitions include moving, job/career change, relationship change, or becoming parents. Strong emotions are inevitable responses to these transitions, and some may be positive, such as excitement or hopefulness. However, it could also trigger anxiety as there could be a lot of uncertainties in the future.
Several months ago with the new decade approaching I reflected on the transitions that I’ve experienced in the last 10 years and was able to pinpoint several moments of intense emotional turmoil as a result of changes in my life. However, I was also able to identify some helpful points that were helpful in navigating those changes.
- Acknowledge that changes are difficult rather than try to minimize it and suppress your emotions. The transition can be expected, unexpected, welcomed, unwelcome, sudden or gradual. Regardless of the event, change shakes up the status quo and forces one to have to change their routine or habits, so it will definitely cause initial discomfort and require a period of adjustment.
- Recall times in the past that you have successfully dealt with transitions. When you’re in transition, it is easy to dwell on the uncertainties and fear can trigger feelings of inadequacies. However, identifying the coping skills that you’ve used to manage transitions in the past can help you to recognize your strengths and bolster your confidence.
- Reframe and identify the positive aspects of the change. Being in transition can be an opportunity for growth as this is the opportunity to practice new habits. Looking out for the hopeful signs in the transition can help reduce the overwhelming nature of it.
- Turn to your support network. Make efforts to stay connected with close family and trusted friends. Reach out for help from others in your life that may have gone through similar experiences. Sometimes, professional help, such as talking to a therapist or attending a structured support group could be helpful.
If you or someone you know is struggling with the overwhelming nature of confronting life changes, you don’t have to go through it alone! Reach out and get in contact with Dr. Chi Nguyen, or one of our other Uplift psychologists today by calling or texting (408) 680-4114.