How to Navigate Challenging Life Transitions
When we’re young, life transitions are often fun and exciting. We go from crawling to walking, and then walking to running. We start with training wheels but soon no longer need them. As we age, we move from elementary to high school and become more independent.
But as adults, life transitions aren’t always so fun and far from empowering. This is because life transitions can often include a loss: loss of a job, a marriage, and loved ones. During these transitions, we can feel out to sea, completely at the mercy of the tides that seem to be tossing our lifeboat around.
If you are feeling stressed and overwhelmed right now because you are facing one or more of these changes in your life, here are some ways you can navigate these choppy waters:
Have you noticed that the pace of life has picked up? There’s almost always something that needs to get done or accomplished. Most likely your heartbeat and breathing have also picked up as a response. It’s time to slow down and breathe.
As simple as it may sound, slow, deep breaths are a powerful way to tell your body that everything is okay. Even though we do n0t realize it, our bodies are often in “fight or flight mode,” as you subconsciously, and maybe even consciously, feel you are being attacked. If you can cultivate a few minutes each day to be still, away from the noise and chaos to breathe deeply and slowly, it will slow down your heart rate and make you feel calm and peaceful.
Embracing the uncertainty is a big one! It may seem completely counterintuitive if not downright impossible. But when we surrender control and embrace the unknown, with more of a curiosity about outcomes rather than worry, we feel positive emotions (curiosity, wonder) instead of negative emotions (lost, out of control).
Acknowledge the Cycles of Life
Someone once said, “This too shall pass.” Life, like weather, has seasons. While you may feel stuck right now and believe nothing is going the way you hoped or planned, remember that this is not permanent. Transitions are just that, an uncomfortable bridge from one part of life to the next.
Fall Back on Traditions
Rites of passage have been used for thousands of years in all cultures to help people transition from one place in life to another. It’s time to call upon this ancient wisdom of our ancestors and empower ourselves.
Rites of passage put us in the driver’s seat. We can acknowledge that things MUST change because we intuitively understand that the human journey is all about facing challenges and becoming new versions of ourselves.
Life, such as it is, throws us curve balls that cast fear and doubt into our vision. This is natural and no one escapes.
But there ARE ways to navigate these challenges. We have therapists on our team that specialize in life transitions and understand just how challenging these times can be. If you are looking for support during a difficult transition in your life, please contact Brenna Koretsky. She is on our team and specializes in life transitions.