Making a big transition in life—whether it’s a new house, relationship or move to retirement—can be challenging.
But there are some ways that you can embrace change to ease difficult transition periods and turn them into opportunities for growth.
1. Embrace change
Acceptance may be easier said than done, but it’s an important part of embracing change. Instead of dwelling on what you’re leaving behind, try to focus on the opportunities that lie ahead. Research has found that adaptability—the ability to adjust to new and changing situations and conditions—is essential for wellbeing. According to Guy Winch, doctor of psychology and author of Emotional First Aid: Healing Rejection, Guilt, Failure, and Other Everyday Hurts, young people who were adaptable were more likely to report greater life satisfaction, motivation and a greater sense of meaning and purpose in their lives. So try to view the change as an opportunity rather than a barrier, and be open to things you might learn.
2. Take time to reflect
Whether it’s writing a journal, meditating or taking long walks on your own, self-reflection can help you understand the source of your worry and give you time to think about your next steps. Focus on the moment and don’t think too far ahead. Writing down your thoughts and feelings on a regular basis has been shown to improve health and wellbeing and may help you sleep better at night.
3. Set small, attainable goals
Change can often be overwhelming, particularly if you’re not sure which direction your life is heading in. Setting realistic and flexible short and long-term goals for yourself may help you retain a sense of control and help you work out how you can make the most of this life change. Maintaining a sense of routine and surrounding yourself with familiar people and activities may also offer comfort during this time.
4. Become an optimist
Optimism is one of the best mindsets you can achieve in challenging times. When people experience position emotions, they are more creative and can solve problems better. They are more likely to be resilient and can bounce back from adversity more easily. If you’re not a silver lining kind of person, consider spending time with some optimistic friends and family, who can help you see the positive side to the change you’re going through.
5. Get support
Talking to someone else who has been through something similar can make a huge difference in helping you deal with change. You can discuss your concerns, ask how they dealt with similar situations in the past and get emotional support and encouragement as you transition through this life stage.
How have you coped with big life changes? Do you have any tips to share?