What Are Life Transitions?
Transitions are inevitable – The only constant in life is change. Every person can expect to go through multiple significant changes throughout their lives. When we experience changes in our lives, also known as transitions, adjusting can be stressful and challenging, Even if the shifts are positive.
Adjusting to change
We can be affected by both negative or positive life changes. You might feel uncertain or lost if you are going through a significant life change. You may have found comfort and stability in your old routine, but now you are trying to figure out your new role.
It is normal and healthy to experience some stress and anxiety when going through a life transition. However, it can feel uncomfortable and unsettling for our bodies and minds to adapt to a new lifestyle.
Adjusting to Positive Life Changes
While a marriage, birth, or graduation are all positive events, they can also be associated with their own set of unique stressors. Generally, positive life changes can register in the brain the same way as negative life changes because it challenges us to do something new or take on a new role. It can bring about feelings of anxiety and uncertainty.
Examples of positive life changes include (but are not limited to):
Entering the workforce
Making a big move
Buying a home
Becoming a parent
Changing careers by choice
Becoming a grandparent
Adjusting to Negative Life Changes
Divorce, losing a job, and losing a loved one are some examples of significant life changes that can be considered negative. Negative life changes can cause considerable stress and, if not adequately managed, may cause mental health concerns.
Examples of negative life changes include (but are not limited to):
Loss of your role
Significant loss (losing a person, pet, job, or anything you consider important)
Serious illness or disability of self or a loved one
Life Transitions & Mental Health
Some people may experience life changes that do not bring significant mental health struggles. Still, they may benefit from some support and guidance to adjust to their changes through therapy or coaching.
For example, a newly accepted college student may become worried about starting their first semester. Even though this is a positive change, they could still benefit from therapy or coaching because they may attain coping strategies, insight, and new study strategies to help them through.
However, sometimes a person may experience more difficulties, which may lead to mental health concerns like depression, anxiety, or adjustment disorder. For example, if that same student cannot navigate that change and their worries continue to grow, they may become paralyzed with fear when they think about the future, affecting their grades and success.
Psychologists help people navigate life’s transitions and assist them in reframing thoughts that are holding them back.
Therapy and Adjusting To Change
No matter what kind of change you are going through, learning to adapt can profoundly impact your personal growth. It also encourages the acquisition of knowledge and new skills. If a person has difficulties adapting, they may begin seeing changes in their physical or mental health.
Therapy may help people become more self-aware and gain insight into how life changes can lead them to personal strength, confidence and help them increase their adaptability.
How Can A Psychologist Help?
Change can make our thoughts dwell in uncertainty – the uncertainty of what this change will bring and what the future holds.
Moreover, some life changes may be more difficult than others, and stress can become chronic. If coping with life changes becomes overwhelming and challenging, a psychologist may help you work through those concerns and provide you with empirically-based coping strategies. Furthermore, they help you adapt to your life transition more efficiently and make it easier to cope with future changes.
Our brains need time to adjust to changes. A psychologist may help the process along and help you maintain your mental health. While there isn’t a specific treatment protocol to adapt to change, several strategies and tactics can help.
Seeking Therapy to Adjust to Life Transitions
Some people may feel therapy or coaching is not needed when experiencing life changes because they do not have a psychiatric diagnosis. However, therapy is for everyone – anyone can benefit from therapy. It is essential that you find a psychologist that you feel comfortable with.
Questions People Have About Seeking Life Transition Therapy
I’ll eventually adjust; why should I seek help when I can just let time pass?
Adjusting does take time, and you may be able to do it on your own. However, you may adapt to the changes more speedily with therapy or coaching, gain more insight, and experience personal growth. Furthermore, there is the possibility that life changes may become difficult to handle on your own and lead to mental health concerns. Additionally, therapy can help you ease the stress associated with life changes.
It’s not me; a “third-party is making the transition difficult. – Can therapy help with that?
Yes, it can help because life transitions may become more challenging to manage when others influence the situation – whether they interfere with your happiness because of disagreements, lack of support, or secondary motives. Therapy or coaching can help you manage these situations through improved communication, new coping skills, and problem-solving skills.
Is therapy or coaching worth it?
Therapy and coaching are investments you make in yourself and your life. Improved coping and adjustment can help you live more content with increased well-being. It will help you prepare for changes and transitions you may face in the future. Taking care of your well-being and your mental health is equally as important as your physical health.
Growth while Adjusting to Life Transitions
Even though change is inevitable, it can also lead to wonderful opportunities. We have a better chance of coping with change and uncertainty through self-love, self-care, and support. Facing change with the proper tools may help us find our way to a brighter future and improved quality of life.
Life transitions provide us with lovely opportunities to discover more about ourselves and recognize our strengths. You have the ability to handle life’s transitions and can learn from them. It is possible to successfully manage life transitions, especially if we have the support of others.
Life Transitions Treatment Therapy in Florida
If you feel overwhelmed by life changes, you don’t have to manage it on your own. Dr. Carolina Raeburn, PsyD, can help you navigate and adapt to life changes.
Hello, I’m Dr. Carolina Raeburn, a licensed Clinical Psychologist with a subspecialty in neuropsychology in Miami. I help people with emotional concerns, adjusting to life changes, or those who want to improve their quality of life. I offer coaching and bespoke psychotherapy for individuals and couples, providing cognitive behavioral therapy, depression treatment, anxiety treatment, panic attack treatment, stress management, as well as help those going through life changes, such as grief and loss, chronic and terminal illness, injuries, retirement, perfectionism, and much more.
If you have any questions about my services, please feel free to reach out through the contact form. Or, if you’re ready to start your path to a better tomorrow, please make your appointment today.
*All the information published in this article is for informational and educational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice or treatment. Any information provided here is offered in generic form. Please consult your healthcare provider if you have any questions or concerns.