Life will change — it’s inevitable.
There are various stages of change, and emotions that come with each of them. If you want to prepare for change, learning these stages can be a huge help.
Right from birth, you are going to experience transitions in life. It starts at the beginning of life at birth.
Can you imagine the shock you must have felt being birthed into the cold world from the cozy, safe home of your mother?
After birth, you go from one transition to another, including your first steps, the first time you rode a bicycle, the first time your parents left you with a babysitter.
Then there is the first day of school. Puberty, when your body starts to go through many physical changes. First serious relationship. Leaving home. Going to university. Marriage, becoming a parent, being fired, moving to a different community, empty nest, retirement, and death — these are all part of life’s journey.
Your goal is to manage the challenges of life changes and transitions as best as you can.
Whether it’s happy or sad, everything about your life changing still takes a lot of energy. Any time you are required to make changes in your routines, your relationships, and your location can take time to get used to.
When you face health challenges, it takes time to adjust to the changes in your body making it more difficult and sometimes impossible to do things you used to do. This can feel devastating.
Moving through transitions takes time and patience. In order to find happiness in your life right now, it is essential that you give yourself time and space to walk through the changes.
You are going to feel awkward, anxious and maybe depressed. Some days you are going to wonder how you are going to make it through this hard time.
Don’t try to do this alone. Find friends and family you trust to walk with you through this time. They can’t do the work for you, but they can be there to support and encourage you.
Here are the 7 stages of change and the emotions you go through when coping with them.
1. Experiencing strong emotions, sensations, and negative thoughts
There may be times when you are feeling overwhelmed by your emotions and feelings that you need more than your friends and family can offer.
There is no shame in asking for professional help through a coach, counselor, or psychologist. Getting professional help is a sign of courage because you can admit to yourself that you are feeling stuck.
2. Feeling a loss of self-esteem
It is natural to feel less confident about yourself during times of significant change. You start to question your abilities. You get caught up in fear. You feel lost.
You wonder if you are going to be able to find a way through the chaos. You don’t know what to do because this is uncharted waters.
3. Starting to accept the change
Over time you will start to accept the change even if you don’t like it. You discover that you are stronger than you realized. You remember that you are not alone and that people do care about you.
Most of all, you know that you still have a purpose for living.
4. Accepting that you need to let go of the past to be open to the future
You are going to experience grief as you move through transitions. It is crucial for you to find ways to feel the pain in a safe environment with friends, family or a professional.
The more you can allow yourself to feel your grief, the easier it will be for you to move on.
5. Starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel
It is getting to the point where you can look forward to the future. It is accepting that you still have a purpose of living. It is learning to live in the moment rather than being stuck in the memories of the past.
You start feeling lighter and your energy begins to come back.
6. Begin feeling better about yourself
Over time you begin to enjoy life more and more. You now have the energy to spend time with friends. You get back into your hobbies.
You eat better, get more exercise, and you begin to enjoy life again.
7. You start seeing the world again in a positive light
The world no longer feels dark and depressing. You have found the will to live again. You sense of humor comes back. You are eager to do things that bring you joy.
There are common challenges. With presence, you can manage the challenges of life transitions. The most important thing for you to do is face your pain, sadness, and despair. The only way to find relief is to find the courage to face it.