Are you feeling worried, anxious, or stressed out after a major change in your life? Do you feel like you’re having trouble adjusting to a new living situation? For many people, adapting to drastic changes, such as a move across the country (or to a new country), a marriage, divorce, the birth of a child, or any other change that severely alters one’s day-to-day life, can be difficult. These sudden and extreme changes can even take a toll on one’s emotional health, sometimes leading to anxiety or depression.
Dramatic life transitions can lead to depression or anxiety if not properly managed.
Why are Life Adjustments and Transitions Difficult?
Human beings are creatures of habit. We depend on routine to keep our lives feeling safe and orderly, so when something happens to disrupt that routine, we can experience feelings of stress and anxiety as a result. When you experience a major life change, you must often re-invent the way you move through your entire life. From the time you wake up in the morning and the type of clothes you wear, to how long it takes you to get to work and the type of work you do, sometimes even to the kind of food you eat – everything is switched around. That’s quite a lot of adjusting to do all at once.
But I’m Happy About This Change.
Change doesn’t need to be bad for it to be disruptive. Even if you’ve just married the love of your life or become the parent to a child you’ve been eagerly expecting, being thrown out of what’s normal leads to stress. In fact, feeling unhappy at your inability to be happier about the changes in your life can compound your feelings of stress, leading to a more complicated problem.
Even positive transitions in life can lead to stress.
Because of this, it’s vital to understand that there is nothing wrong when you feel uneasy about a positive change in your life. Stress and discomfort after your marriage isn’t necessarily a sign that you’ve made a mistake, and feeling frustration at the changes involved in being a new parent doesn’t mean you don’t love your children.
How Can I Prevent A Major Life Transition from Becoming Stressful?
As the old saying goes, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. If you’re coming up on a major transition in your life, or if you’ve just gone through one and are feeling unsettled, arrange a meeting with a psychologist now, before the stress of the situation leads to a more serious mental health concern.
Your psychologist can help you navigate the changes in your life and assist you in developing strategies for coping with the new situation in a positive manner.
When embarking on a new change, discuss transition strategies with your psychologist.
It’s also important to remember that the stress involved in adjusting to a new situation isn’t always bad. Stress doesn’t need to be an enemy, and sometimes it’s only our dislike and avoidance that makes it harmful. Stress is an evolutionary response designed to help us deal with changes. With the guidance of a therapist, you can learn to use the stress of change to your advantage, minimizing its negative effects.
If you’ve been through a major life change such as the ones mentioned above, or if you’re getting ready to undergo such a transition, I encourage you to contact me and make an appointment today.