How to Deal with Major Life Changes

Change is a constant part of everyone’s lives. We undergo different changes every single day, whether we feel it or not. These shifts may bring about positive or negative emotions, both significantly contributing to how we process and respond to the things around us.

While some changes may fill us with excitement, hope, or joy, others might evoke feelings of uncertainty, fear, or discomfort. However, it’s essential to recognize that every change, regardless of its emotional impact, presents us with opportunities for growth and learning.

Embracing the full spectrum of emotions that accompany change allows us to navigate life’s transitions with resilience and grace. Here are several approaches that can help you manage significant life changes.

 

Acknowledge your feelings 

The reality is, the small changes happening in our lives may even go unnoticed. It’s the major ones that can shake us to our core, disrupting the familiarity we’ve grown accustomed to. More often than not, no matter how much we try to prepare for these changes, we never fully know how to deal with them.

Being able to face these problems head-on lays the foundation for resilience. It’s through this confrontation that we not only build strength but also cultivate adaptability and perseverance, essential qualities for navigating life’s inevitable ups and downs.

One of the most crucial things when dealing with a major change is to allow yourself to experience and process your emotions without judgment. Whether these emotions are positive or negative, giving yourself permission to sit with them, acknowledge them, and explore their meaning can be incredibly beneficial.

By embracing your emotions and allowing yourself to fully experience them, you create room for healing, self-awareness, and growth. Remember, your emotions are valid, and providing the space for you to feel them is an essential part of the healing process.

 

Face any problems

Once you’ve acknowledged and made room for your feelings, the next step is to identify the problems at hand. Ask yourself questions such as:

 

By addressing these questions, you can gain clarity on the specific challenges you’re facing and begin to develop practical strategies for coping and moving forward. It’s not enough that you’re aware and acknowledge your feelings, you also have to think about what you can do to deal with the problem you are facing, especially during major transitions.

Identifying actionable steps and setting some near term goals allows you to actively engage with the transition process, rather than feeling overwhelmed or helpless. There’s always something you can do– no matter how big or small the step is.

 

 

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Stay present throughout life changes

Truthfully, it can be quite difficult to fully come to terms with the significant changes happening in your life. It can take a while for one to completely embrace the situation they’re in. However, staying in the present allows you to establish a distinction between your current situation and the past or future. By focusing on the here and now, you can form a sense of clarity and acceptance, free from the weight of past regrets or future uncertainties.

In the study “When a Major Life Chane Upends Your Sense of Self” by Tubiana, Ruebottom, and Turchick-Hakak (2022), the authors explain how making a distinct break with the past helped their interviewees welcome these changes. Many of the interviewees described a key event that “flipped a switch” for them: a tipping point that empowered them to make (and truly accept) a change.

For example, some participants who were trying to leave behind stigmatized pasts spoke about the significance of a specific milestone, such as a birthday or the birth of a child, in helping them embrace their new identities. They continue to discuss that while the actual event is not primarily important, having a symbolic experience that represents the end of a chapter is what holds great value.

“If you’re struggling to disentangle your past and present selves, see if you can define a moment that can be imbued with significance, and articulate that to yourself and those around you. Simply recognizing a specific moment as a divider between the past and the present can help you extricate yourself from an identity that is no longer relevant to your life” (Tubiana, Ruebottom, & Turchick-Hakak, 2022).

 

Connect with the people around you

navigating life changes - stay connected with your communityThe change you’re going through is already hard as it is, so having a support system to help you navigate through this transition would be extremely beneficial for you.

Reach out to friends, family or social groups who can offer encouragement, guidance and understanding during this challenging time. Isolation can be a common coping mechanism for people who go through such changes. You might be thinking that no one will be able to help you but yourself. While there’s some truth to this, it is also worth considering that you are probably not the first person who has experienced what you are going through.

Sharing your experiences and seeking support from others who have gone through similar transitions can provide comfort and perspective, reminding you that you’re not alone in your journey.

If you don’t really have a network of friends and consider yourself a bit of a loner, then consider joining Facebook groups or going to meetups to meet like-minded people, group fitness classes, or even simply getting out your thoughts with a counselor or life coach who can lend an ear and support you through the life changes taking place.

 

Be hopeful 

While you’re staying grounded and focusing on the things you can control, don’t forbid yourself from being hopeful about what’s next for you. A big shift can also mean a clean slate, a black canvas that you can paint anew with new possibilities and aspirations.

Tubiana, Ruebottom, and Turchick-Hakak had a similar sentiment in their article. “While focusing on the concrete positives in your life can be helpful, our research also revealed that there is great power in the imaginary. This is in line with prior research on the concept of “postalgia,” which refers to a yearning, not for an idealized version of the past, but for a similarly utopic future.

In our interviews, we found that some of the people who were most comfortable in their new identities were those who imagined that their current circumstances were only a stepping stone on the path to their ultimate (if objectively unrealistic) future.” (2022)

This imaginative outlook provided them with a sense of hope and purpose, driving them forward even in the face of uncertainty. Staying motivated is very critical during times like these. Major life changes force you to pause and reflect on what’s happening, but maintaining a sense of motivation can help you navigate through the challenges with resilience and determination. It’s during these moments of reflection that you can harness your inner strength and envision a brighter future, working your way toward your ideal life.

 

Develop self-compassion

Above all else, be kind to yourself. Navigating a major life change can be extremely difficult, and it’s normal to feel overwhelmed by these shifts. Start treating yourself with the same understanding and empathy that you would offer to a friend facing a similar challenge.

At the end of the day, you’re just doing the best you can with whatever you have at this particular moment. Most of the major life changes would take you by surprise. You’re not expecting them nor prepared to face them. These unexpected shifts can shake up your world, challenging your sense of stability and forcing you to adapt quickly to new circumstances.

 

Embrace the new beginning

life is now - embracing life changesKeep in mind that your life doesn’t stop at this. If anything, it could be a new beginning for you. Major life changes, though daunting at first, often mark the start of a new chapter filled with fresh possibilities and opportunities for personal growth.

Embrace the unknown with courage and curiosity, knowing that each challenge you overcome is a testament to your progress. There will come a time when you can look back on your journey and see how far you’ve come. You might still be miles away from your goals, but you’re already at a point that was once just a dream.

Things will pass and life will go on. Take whatever you can from each experience, whether it’s joy or sorrow, and make use of them throughout your life. Embrace the lessons they offer, for they are essential to living a good life.

All this to say, you don’t want to be 80 years old and still thinking about the opportunities you let slip by, just because you’re afraid of life changes. Living means embracing the unfamiliar, seizing the moment, and writing one heck of a story.

 

 

About Author:
Paul Jenkin | Life Coach & Somatic Facilitator
With 26 years of experience in alternative health and personal development, Paul coaches entrepreneurs and creatives to let go of limiting programming and empower themselves to reach greater levels of personal freedom, peace and success.

Author of ‘Powerful Manifestation Secrets’– he enjoys sharing information about a whole range of topics from LOA, optimal health, emotional intelligence, self-sovereignty and business. Schedule a 1-hr Expansion Call Today!

 

 

Reference:

– https://hbr.org/2022/01/when-a-major-life-change-upends-your-sense-of-self

 

 

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