Although, change is the only constant in life; nevertheless, it is stressful. Our minds are wired for routines, and habits bring a structure and style of living. To get comfortable with familiar is understandable, therefore, when life demands us to make new changes, such as meeting new people at the workplace, having a new city to live in; or moving out of your family home to live away; many adjustments have an emotional impact. Even a positive change such as starting College needs preparation, mindset, and adjustments to a new environment.
Major life transitions that leave an impact and need professional support include-
Losing a loved one
Divorce or break-up
Leaving home for higher education/work
New job or college
Pregnancy or childbirth
Most transitions create an experience of fear, or self-doubt caused by the uncertainty of the new. Often transitions change the role, relationships, and perceptions of individuals making it challenging to accept the new. Therefore, even if the planned and desired changes, such as marriage or going to a new workplace, might feel distressing. The required adjustments to get familiarised with the ‘new normal’, often take a toll on our mental health.
Some major life events such as the loss of a loved one, or loss of health can make the person question the meaning and significance of life, values, and priorities. The recent pandemic of 2020 made many of us ponder upon such questions. In children, the transition may manifest as a distraction, poor academic performance, agitation or irritability, or avoidance. Life events that are out of individuals’ control, such as an accident, natural calamity, war, or riot create more uncertainty and are perceived as a bigger threat therefore more stressful.
Psychotherapy is supportive and grounding process that brings a sense of safety to the distressed mind, and helps the brain to get used to doing things differently. If life transitions are impacting your mood, ability to work, social interactions, or any other important life area you may benefit from a consultation with a therapist.