Updated: Oct 7, 2020
Whether big or small, changes inevitably happen throughout life.
A change may lead to a transition and can have a significant impact on the way we perceive ourselves and often, also the relationships with our partners, family and friends.
The way we handle the transition affects every aspect of our life, whether it be positively or negatively.
Knowing this, how can we navigate through these life changes positively and for them create less pressure on our relationships? Firstly, acknowledge that each individual is unique, therefore the effects of a change will differ from person to person and the impact of this on others is out of our control. You have power only on our own emotions.
For example, when a family moves to a different city, some family members may thrive from the change while others may feel challenged by the new environment.
Or when a couple have a baby may struggle in understanding how differently this change may impact one another. The effect of a change can destabilise what seemed to be a healthy balanced relationship, even if it has mainly affected only one of the people involved.
So, which is the best way to handle transitions?
Here are a few tips that might help you to continue to love and trust for yourself, and also for others, through these times.
Allow yourself the time and the patience you need.
During these moments, it isn’t always easy to have a positive outlook on the situation. This is your journey, and you know what you need to do to get to the place you want to be, so take each step at your own pace. In the meantime, it's essential to:
Observe the feelings you are experiencing, but don't let them drive you
Allow yourself and others time to adjust to the new situation.
Avoid additional pressure to yourself and others by adding other stressful situation in your life.
Talk about your challenges, but don't expect others to find a solution for you.
Don't foster unrealistic expectations of how things should be.
Don't compare your situation with others, as every relationship and transition is unique.
Avoid to put blame of the current situation to yourself or others.
Trust that it will pass.
In the midst of experiencing a transition, overwhelming feelings of sadness, grief, anxiety or anger can seem never-ending, and you may feel to be overcome by a sense of losing control. Remember that you are not alone, as it can be just as challenging and painful for all others involved.
Try to accept these feelings, as the more you resist, the longer they can stay with you and even resurface later on in life. No experience of a transition is ever the same, but what it does is make you stronger and more self-aware if you allow it to.
Have faith in a positive outcome because as said by Rumi, “This too shall pass.”
Focus on where you want to be.
And in the meantime, go with the flow, adapt to the change instead of fighting it. Do things you feel pleasant, dive into books, art, music, whatever helps nourish your mind and soul, explore all possibilities you have.
No matter what kind of relationship you are trying to figure out, or what type of transition you are going through, giving yourself some space and time from the issues can provide some balance, even if just for a short time. It might not sound that easy, but begin to explore positive sides of the experience, it will help you gain a different perspective of what is happening.
What is the story you are telling yourself?
Take some time to evaluate the story you are telling yourself.
Are there missing pieces on your story?
Were there underlying issues in this relationship you avoided to face?
What are the fears you have regarding the changes your relationship is going through?
What could be the worst case scenario?
What is the perspective of other people involved?
Is the point of view of others difficult for you to accept or understand?
Are you over or underestimating any part of the situation?
Own your story. Ask yourself who you want to be, where you want to go and above all: how much are you willing to compromise?
While there is no way to predict how you or your relationship will come out from this emotional storm, don't forget your support system. You are not alone. We are more proactive in offering help rather than accepting it, but accepting help from family and friends, or a counsellor, can make the difference. Surround yourself with plenty of love and kindness.
If you need emotional support, feel free to email me for any question.