Life Transitions

One thing in life that is certain is change. We move from an infant to an adult and in between there are numerous life changing events that occur physically, mentally, morally, educationally etc. For some the transition is seamless for others it’s a series of upheavals that causes anxiety and mental distress. But how can you differentiate it is causing mental distress? The answer is simple if the change hampers the peace of your life and makes you feel out of the sync-you can say it is a mental distress. And distresses can make your life more complicated than it seems.

We are creatures of habit and like to remain in our comfort zone where we can shut our eyes and go through the routine with relative ease. There will come a time however when without notice things happen and we are caught off-guard and must adjust to survive. It is said that “man is a slave to his habits”. It seems and becomes difficult for a man to accept change and get accustomed to the new pace and new flow of life. But it is often hard because of the human nature. For say, you are doing a thing for many years but suddenly for some reason you have to give up on that thing\habit. Naturally that thing becomes your comfort zone or a habit which is hard to give up. And this feeling of ‘hard to give up’ is the root of many problems.

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Think of John who was employed at the ABC company for the last twenty (20) years and heard one day that the organization in downsizing and has to lay off staff. John was devastated when he was informed that his name was at the top of that list. He was relatively young and not ready to retire nor was he ever thinking of doing anything else than what he has been doing at the same place for the past twenty (20) years. Days leading up to the day of departure John was depressed and although the company offered life transition seminars which he attended he was still unhappy as he was not ready to move on.

Whether it’s changing schools, getting a job, getting married, having a child, passing of a loved one we all must deal with changes at some time in our lives. The key thing is to make the necessary adjustments that would make the transition as comfortable as possible. We must accept the fact that change is a part of human life, a very essential part which can never be denied or neglected. No matter how many times we deny it, it stays with us like a shadow. So, there is no way out other than accepting it.

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To make effective adjustments to life changing events require us to make the mental shift first. Our response towards change should be “Try Me”. We must accept that change is inevitable and that it is not always negative. Going back to our friend John, the job redundancy could be an opportunity for him to use his vast experience to good effect and start his own business or launch out on his photography hobby by investing some of his redundancy funds in setting up his photography business. One wise person said that life is 10% of what happens to us and 90% of how we respond. We should approach the change with a positive outlook and ask yourself the following questions:

• What are the benefits to gain from this change?
• What background or preparatory checks would I need to make?
• Who are the people I could reach out to for guidance and support?
• Do I need some time to process this change?
• What personal adjustments would I need to make?
• What activities I need to carry out to ensure I maintain good physical and mental health?

We will not able to in many instances predict when the changes in our lives will occur and that is what makes us unprepared. It is normal to get anxious and even panic but with time and support of others we will devise adjustment and coping skills to manage the change effectively.

As we do not know when and how the change will occur, it becomes difficult for us to be prepared. And this is where the problem starts. We often consider any change to be a negative one. But there is always something good hides behind the change. If someone is already dealing with other mental issues, it gets harder for them to accept any sort of change. And often that who cannot accept life transitions needs professional help to deal with transitions and have a healthier life.

Accessing Help:
Before the situation gets worse everyone should get immediate help. Depending on the severity of the condition people should find a way to deal with it. It is not too late yet. The psychotherapist would engage you in talk therapy and help you restore a sense of harmony and mental stability. And the address of getting help from any professional is Seeking Shalom. Seeking Shalom has trained and experienced therapists in the area of dealing with such conditions. Seeking Shalom works with children, adolescents and adults. It offers you two contexts to help you come out from the unstable and uncertain life and will help you to overcome. You can engage in weekly individual/family therapy or in a twelve week group setting where you get to interact with persons like yourself and together learn helpful strategies and techniques to deal with the problem. To pursue any of these options you can contact us via telephone at 212-655-9605. We would be happy to help you on this journey to healthier living.

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