Transition: the process or a period of changing from one state or condition to another.
All of us, at one point in time or another, have found ourselves in a state of transition. Some of these states of transition are by choice, others come from natural means, while others are unwillingly imposed upon us. I’m talking about situations where, ready or not, we are faced with the process of closing a chapter in our lives and beginning another, embarking on a new adventure, changing jobs, ending relationships, losing friendships, having children, getting married, getting older, etc. During these periods in our lives, we often have to endure weeks, months or sometimes longer of awkward, tense, stressful and emotional spaces where we have severed ties with the familiar and now have to figure out how to settle into what is foreign and new. Whatever the circumstances may be, we now find ourselves having to learn how to respond in new ways that at first will be challenging and difficult and uncomfortable.
I think what is distressing to most people is the feeling of being forced to change, or make a change, even if unsatisfied in life, because it’s as if you’re being thrown against your will into the world of the unknown, and that alone may be even more anxiety provoking than the unsatisfied life.
But the reality is we can’t avoid change, although many people spend a great deal of time and energy trying to, but it will inevitably catch up to them. If you can learn to cope with change, you’ll lower your risk for anxiety and depression, but if you can’t learn how to get a handle on it, you’ll find that only a minor amount of stress can make you feel overwhelmed by life.
So how do we deal with transitions in our lives? We first gotta acknowledge that Life can be as stressful, or not, as you make it. It’s all in the mind-set you apply. It really does come down to perspective and resiliency. When adversity occurs in life, it’s due to a variety of factors and how you interpret them will determine their impact on you. I’ve found that we all go through a variety of stages when dealing with life’s transitions, and when we come to better understand each stage, the easier it can be to get through it and move on to the point where we are able to reflect and learn more about ourselves and determine what is the right path for us to take.
Stages of Transition:
- Experience a range of negative feelings (anger, anxiety, confusion, numbness, and self-doubt)
- Feel a loss of self-esteem
- Begin to accept the change
- Acknowledge that you need to let go of the past and accept the future
- Begin to feel hopeful about the future
- Feel increased self-esteem
- Develop an optimistic view of the future
Of course, in real life, nothing ever goes exactly as planned nor do we flow through these stages easily with no obstacles or challenges. It takes time to adjust to a new reality and you gotta give yourself time to figure out what is truly best for you and what makes you feel fulfilled and satisfied and just gather up your inner strength and do what needs to be done to get you through it and on to the next phase of your life.