What are life transitions?
Throughout life, we inevitably go through various transitions. Some transitions happen without warning and are inherently upsetting, such as accidents, death, loss of a job, or serious illness. Others, whilst impending and exciting, can cause discomfort for us, due to the change within these periods. Generally, humans are adaptable creatures. However, if life transitions are causing us incredible distress, our ability to cope with these changes may significantly impact our relationships, our ability to live our lives, and our capacity to grow.
Some common life changes include but are not limited to:
- Transitioning from primary school to high school
- Transitioning from high school to tertiary education
- Moving out of the family home
- Moving to a new location
- Becoming financially independent
- Transitioning from university to full-time work
- Changing jobs/careers
- Job loss/unemployment
- A break-up
- Becoming a parent
- Getting married
- Becoming separated or getting a divorce
- Children leaving the home
Making life transitions easier
Life transitions can feel overwhelming, stressful, and saddening. They can highlight a fear of the future, a fear of missing the past, and a discomfort in the presence. Whilst some individuals can manage life transitions easily, others may find the distress caused by life transitions unbearable. Thankfully, help is available to aid in navigating through these difficult stages in life.
Psychologists listen without judgement and keep all information discussed in sessions completely confidential. Speaking to a psychologist about a difficult life transition you may be going through can help you to better understand what has happened and how to manage the emotions you are experiencing. They can provide the tools to help you feel positive going forward into the future. Find the right psychologist for you at Psychology Melbourne here.
Signs of difficulty coping
Some signs that suggest you may have difficulty coping with life transitions include:
- Intense emotion surrounding life transition
- Increased anxiety
- Feelings of stress
- Feeling overwhelmed
- Difficulty or changes sleeping
- Feeling upset and/or crying often
- Difficulty concentrating
- Mood swings
Why some people and not others?
Other factors may influence how individuals cope with life transitions. It is often a combination of things that affect people differently. Supportive social network, self-care strategies, and a healthy lifestyle are all protective factors in managing stress. Some people are more susceptible than others, possibly because of their coping style; childhood trauma; family predisposition, or hormonal or other biological factors.
Strategies to help manage life changes
- Focussing on the present and taking one day at a time
- Spending time with supportive friends and family
- Engaging in self-care activities such as exercising and mindfulness
When to seek professional assistance
A psychologist can help you navigate your way through stressful life transitions. Our practice employs evidence-based systems that have been proved to produce better outcomes than other practices. We offer an initial matching session and conduct regular progress checks to assess real results for our clients. Our surveys consistently report a higher than average level of satisfaction.