How to Cope with Life Transitions Even When They’re Unexpected

Change is the one constant in life. The more you can go with the flow the more natural change will be.  The more you try to stop change the more stressful it becomes.

Life is full of constant change. There are the changes we expect, such as moving from one level of education to another, our first date, marriage, first child, and retirement. Even these are not easy.

Whether or not the change is expected, the challenge is how to cope with life transitions.


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1.      Prepare yourself for change when possible:

When you know a significant change is coming, do all you can to prepare for it.  For example, if you are moving to a new city to attend university, take time to learn as much as you can about your new environment.

 Maybe for your first year you might want to live in residence, so you don’t have the additional stress of finding a place to live.

If you are getting married, take time to get to know your partner.  You might want to consider going for some marriage preparation available through a church, synagogue, mosque, temple or community agency.

There are likely essential things you have not talked about because you don’t think of them or are too uncomfortable to bring up the subject.

What do you do to prepare for your first child leaving home?

First you need to give your daughter or son the permission to go.  You might want to help them to be ready for the move.  Have you taught them to cook?  Have you showed them how to wash clothes?  Have you taught them to be good stewards of their money?

If life change is about to happen, you can always prepare yourself emotionally, physically, mentally and spiritually.  Sometimes it is no more than trusting that the change will be an opportunity to grow more into being who the universe desires you to be.

2.      Practice Self Love:

When you practice self-love, you are always going to be prepared for any life change whether expected or not.

Self-love requires you to take care of all your physical, emotional, mental and spiritual needs.  It means taking time to rest, eat good food, enjoy time with family and friends, being gentle with yourself, have a regular check-up with your doctor, getting a massage, exercise and more.

Self-love requires you to respect yourself at least as much as you show compassion for another person.

Self-love calls upon you to know the difference between the voice of your inner critic and the voice of your true self.

Click Here to Learn More About the Inner Critic

Self-love calls upon you to say no to people when you already have enough going on in your life, or it is not something that you feel is good use of your time and talents.

3.      Learn to notice the difference between what you can impact and what you have no control over:

You have probably caught yourself trying to control someone that you have no control over. The person you are trying to control could be your wife, husband or child who you tried to change without success.

Maybe you worry about the weather.  The reality is that the weather is going to happen no matter how hard you worry about it.

A good prayer to release this need to control is the serenity prayer

God grant me the Serenity

To accept the things I cannot change,

Courage to change the things I can,

And the Wisdom to know the difference.

Written by Reinhold Niebuhr, Theologian

4.      Find ways to calm your mind:

A calm, quiet mind can help you to move through any life transition.  It is good to build this skill up when life is calmer.  Find something to help you quiet your mind.

There is no one practice that works for everyone. Try different activities to find out what works best for you.  Here are some methods that might work for you:

·         Meditation

·         Prayer

·         Yoga

·         Tai Chi

·         Gardening

·         Cooking

·         Listening to music

·         Playing music.

·         Crafts

·         And more

Once you discover what works for you, need to practice it regularly.  Over time you will notice that you are going to feel calmer and calmer.  So, when life change happens it will not feel as overwhelming if you had not done your work.

You will notice your mind is quiet when there is an absence of internal conversations weighing you down with fear, concern, worry and exhaustion. You will feel a sense of lightness in your body, mind, and heart.

5.      Learn to live in the moment:

The first step to learning how to live in the moment is to quiet your mind. After that, it requires growing self-awareness.

It is learning to catch yourself when you are obsessing about the past or fearful of what might happen in the future.

It is the constant bringing yourself back to the moment and being open to receiving wisdom from your three energy centers, the heart, body and mind.

6.      Enjoy good friendships and connections with family:

As women and men, you are not intended to live life by yourself.  You need community.  You need quality time with family and friends.

You need people in your life to encourage you, challenge you and inspire you. You need people to hold you to account for the promises you make to yourself.

You need people in your life who can share what is going on inside you.  You need people where you can be yourself.

You need people in your life to help remind you that you are not alone.

7.      Learn what your Enneagram type is to help you to move through life with greater ease.

The Enneagram is a fabulous tool to help you to move through all the ups and downs of life with greater ease.

First, you need to discern your Enneagram Type. Click Here to Get Your Free Online Enneagram Test.

Once you identify your type, you are given a psychological-spiritual map to help you become more self-aware. The more conscious you are, the better you will be able to deal with life transitions.

You will have an improved understanding of your strengths and weaknesses.  You will learn what triggers your fears and anxieties. You will become increasingly aware of the difference between what you need to be concerned about and what you can let go.

Working with the Enneagram takes time and intentionality. There are great books out there, courses, and opportunities to work with professional coaches such as myself.

Click Here to Learn About the Enneagram

Panic attack in public place. Woman having panic disorder in city. Psychology, solitude, fear or mental health problems concept. Depressed sad person surrounded by people walking in busy street.

Your life is full of transition. The more you try to coerce change will make you more and more miserable. Even if you briefly get the change you want it will never last.

If you can accept change is part of life it is going to be more comfortable.  While change is not easy it can help you to be stronger, confident, compassionate and hopeful.

The more you can face your fears, anxieties, and grief that come out of change, the more, the healthier you will be in your body, emotions and mind.

If you need a tool to help, you are more prepared for change check out the Enneagram.  It can help you to find peace amid chaos. It can help you to accept yourself as you are.  It can show you a path to new life.

I am, Roland Legge, an Identity Coach here to help you to move through the transitions of life with greater ease.  You can join my private newsletter list for Free Monthly Advice and get Your Free Enneagram Test and sign up for a Free 30 Minute Discovery Call with Roland Legge

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