The secret of change is to focus all of your energy not on fighting the old, but on building the new. Socrates
Relationships are one of the most important and necessary parts of our lives. After all humans are social creatures. The most significant source of meaning in life is close relationships. Studies report that good quality relationships help us live longer and happier, give us purpose and provide a sense of belonging. Even casual ties, such as those with the barista, can add positive interactions throughout our days, and contribute to deeper and more fulfilling lives. Belonging means each person in a relationship feels valued and the parties to the relationship share the feeling of mutual caring.
Major life transitions are life changing. They invariably create stress and affect emotional well-being. Many transitions are disruptive as we adjust and move forward.
However, there are five common times in our lives when life transitions bring massive changes and recovery can take years. It is well established that stressful life transitions are damaging to psychological and physical health and well-being in children, adolescents and adults.
Social and family relationships can have a protective effect on our well-being and help shield us from the negative effects of damaging stress. Relationships can also help us get through major life transitions. Life transitions are the time to be grateful for your close relationships. We are most vulnerable to stress when we experience a major life change and don’t have a support system.
What are the most common major life transitions?
The top five most stressful life events are:
- Death of a loved one
- Divorce – divorce threatens social status, self-esteem and identity
- Major illness or injury
- Job loss
These events can threaten social status, self-esteem, and identity, as well as physical well-being. Transitions that involve a loss require grieving including the loss of a loved one, a job, an important relationship, your way of life, or role in life. Being diagnosed with a serious illness or injury will impact self-esteem, independence and identity.
Stressful life events are associated with the onset of major depression and elevate the risk of heart disease. How we navigate life events determines how they impact ourselves and our relationships. Mastering major life transitions is an essential life skill.
How does a major life transition impact your relationships?
When we face a major life transition, we often feel fear, out of control and question who we are, our self-worth, and our physical and mental abilities. Those close to us see our suffering and often feel helpless.
Inevitably these transitions will directly impact our relationships as a couple, a family member or friend. Most often we can successfully navigate transitions either alone or with the help and support of our family, spouse or a friend. Still, when the increased pressure and stress feel unmanageable it may be time to seek counseling.
How to manage major life transitions?
Life transitions signal change and leaving the familiar behind. May people resist change. It is not uncommon to get stuck in a major life transition. Sharing your pain will help you feel less alone and provide some relief.
You can learn to successfully manage transitions with counseling to get unstuck and retain your peace of mind. You can learn to accept you pain, fear and isolation and cope. Counseling can help you shed something that you don’t like about yourself to make room for what is coming next. If you are struggling to cope it can result in depressions, anxiety, and sleeping.
Before beginning treatment one of our clinical psychologists will conduct a complimentary initial consultation with you. The goal of the initial consultation is to get a better understanding of you, your history with what brings you to therapy, and what your needs are in therapy. We feel the fit between client and psychologist is extremely important, and the consultation is a great start for you to get a feel for Healthymynds and if we are a fit for your needs. Our goal is to work with you in a safe and supportive environment where you can explore your thoughts and feelings and work toward flourishing.
Contact Healthymynds in Redondo Beach to schedule a complimentary consultation to learn more about addressing any transitions you are experiences.