How to Deal with Major Life Changes
We live in hard times, with sudden and quick changes, unstable conditions for families, uncertainty in job hunting, and school problems. The dramatic and unexpected changes create psychological discomfort, crisis, and maladaptive conditions related to anxiety and depression that are a worldwide epidemic.
Vital crisis, existential crisis, identity crisis, values crisis, middle-age crisis, these are just a few examples of how we define the fear of change. When we are hit by major changes a crisis can occur.
A crisis is produced when the old is not dead and the new isn’t yet born. We are often in a neutral and transitional zone, between two worlds: where the old is left behind and the new is just ahead. It is a zone of uncertainty so we don’t know where are we going. However, life offers us great opportunities creating and using our creativity to try new things and to connect ourselves with our real needs, to be focused on what we need to work on, sometimes we don’t want to focus or to pay attention to the desire of change, we are fine in our comfort zone.
Crisis is always a result of change, change is not always a crisis. A major life change is like a headache, it is often unexpected, it can make us feel bad, and can help us think of solutions for dealing with it. Any major life change or crisis can make us realize that everything changes, we can’t always get what we want, that we need to move from our comfort zone.
This infamous comfort zone is very familiar to us, but not always best. Change is the only permanent law of the universe and we need it for growth. If you go against change, you will suffer double, because you are against nature and against the crisis itself. Sometimes we have the best intentions for change, although changes are not always positive. Our situations can worsen from major changes. Change in itself is one of the constant variables in life. Positive events can introduce us to transitional periods, moments that make us think and reassess what should be done in order to progress.
Transitions are phases that are the beginning and the end of changes. Follow these recommendations in order to better approach major change and crisis:
• Remember that change is inevitable, however you can deal with your feelings and thoughts regarding your crisis. You can shape your crisis and make something positive of it.
• Take safe risks in your decisions If you are facing major changes or a crisis try not to expose yourself to vulnerable conditions.
• Try to assess objectively the pros and cons of your behavior and feelings toward crisis. If it’s something inevitable accept it, try not to make the same mistake again, and learn form your mistakes and experience.
• Ask for advice or look for help. Many seek out a psychiatrist or counselor once they are in crisis. Remember when sudden and unexpected events arise, you are not alone. Friends, family, counselors, priests, or spiritual leaders can give you new perspectives. Looking for support is key.
• Trust yourself. Try to be optimistic, never let go of your goals or dreams, keep pushing for positive things. Its a learning process.
• Don’t look for the perfect solution, there is no perfect solution, only a solution that fits you best. All solutions have their pros and cons, we need to adapt to the one that will help us in short and long-term.