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Coping with Emotions in Life Transitions: Navigating Change and Embracing Growth


Foggy emotions

Navigating Change and Embracing Emotional Growth

Emotional resilience in life changes is a crucial skill to face life challenges. The emotions behind the transition can be more scary than the change itself.

Recognising the transition you are going through, exploring why it’s so challenging and learning to implement coping mechanisms to get through it will allow you to navigate the transition more smoothly and help you make meaning of what is happening.


"Change is painful,

but nothing is as painful as staying

stuck somewhere you don't belong."

Mandy Hale


Observe Your Emotions

Fear

Fear is one of the first emotions to show up during a transition. Embracing growth and navigating changes while feeling apprehensive about the future and wondering if you can face the upcoming changes is quite a challenge. Particularly with unexpected changes, the realisation of having minimal power over our own life increases the fear of the unknown and can lead to panic attacks or anger.

Dealing with fear

Instead of escaping fear to avoid the uncomfortable, stay there, accept the feeling and be present. It is okay to be scared. Explore what your fear is telling you, how it feels, how it changes, and what it wants. Being open to the feeling and letting it flow through facilitates acceptance. No feeling lasts forever, and resistance to any challenging feeling makes it only stick around for longer.


Mixed emotions

"The only way to make sense out of change is to plunge into it,

move with it and join the dance."

Alan Watts


Anxiety

Anxiety is a constant in life transitions. A sense of loss of control mixed with excitement. Anxiety is not just challenging but has its purpose. It pushes individuals to focus more, and it increases awareness and performance. However, getting stuck in the attempt to avoid anxiety to regain control of the situation leads only to overwhelm.

Dealing with Anxiety

The first step when learning to deal with challenging emotions is acceptance of the emotion, letting go of control, and observing with curiosity what comes. A great tool to deal with anxiety is mindfulness. It allows increased focus on the present moment and awareness of bodily sensations. By adding breathing exercises, you can learn how to have more control over yourself, reducing the focus on what is happening around you.


"Change the way you look at things

and the things you look at change."

Wayne W. Dyer


Coping with transitions is about being open for things to become different and accepting the unknown.

Road to the unknown

Sadness

When life plans abruptly change or a situation doesn't evolve as expected, we can feel punished for something we don't know. The sense of powerlessness can raise questions about what one is fighting for. Feelings here range from loss, despair, grief, sorrow and disappointment. In such emotional turmoils, life can feel understandably hard.

Dealing with Sadness

Feeling low is allowed and natural, as is the need to isolate and self-reflect, but talking to someone and alleviating the heaviness inside can be helpful if it becomes too much to bear. Talking helps your sadness find a voice and possibly shift those feelings, helping you move into a purposeful mood. Allowing yourself extra self-care will help you navigate the sense of emptiness and demotivation surrounding this feeling.

You will find that it is necessary to let things go;

simply for the reason that they are heavy."

C. JoyBell


strong mixed emotions

Intense Mixed Emotions Are Okay.

All emotions are natural responses and perfectly normal. However, as we are all different, their impact on us, how strongly, how many, and how long, is unique, and comparing situations or reactions with others' experiences is never helpful nor can be accurate.

Some strong emotions can be motivating and energising.

However, if unpleasant feelings rule your day for too long, it’s time to reach out to someone you trust. If you don't have someone to talk to, contact a helpline, a support group, or a professional. Your GP or a counsellor can make a difference in your wellbeing. 


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