LIFE TRANSITIONS ARE OPPORTUNITIES FOR GROWTH

Find a Therapist in ChicagoIt’s been about 3 months since I’ve written a blog post. I didn’t initially intend to take a break, but I ended up needing to spend more time with my family this summer, so I decided to discontinue my blog posts until after Labor Day.

So now here we are in September. A lot has happened in my life as my oldest child moved into her first full-time apartment and my youngest child graduated from high school and left for college 1800 miles away from home.  I’m feeling the silence of an empty house most acutely.

I realize that fall is a time of transition for everyone, as we turn our attention from the relaxation and fun of summer back to more focused work.  So I tried to find a solid article about the challenges people face in autumn as the world speeds up again. Unfortunately, all I could find was articles about preparing young children for school, and the ways that the trees change their colors during fall. So I decided to go back to a more personal approach and sought out an article on major life changes and transitions, since that’s what I’m most closely relating to.

The article I found on transition was written a couple years ago, but is as relevant today as it was then.  It talks about the inevitable fears that accompany transitions and the necessity of questioning one’s thoughts, feelings and beliefs in order to move forward in a positive way. When talking about challenging thoughts and beliefs the author describes being open to opposing ideas as the key ingredient. That may sound a little simplistic, but undergoing a major transition is possibly the best and easiest time to open ones’ mind to new ideas. When the whole world has changed, one’s perspective on that world also changes and it’s easier to consider something different. When it comes to challenging feelings, those of us who tend to control and suppress our feelings find it’s a little harder because the solution the article proposes is to just allow for the passage of time. If you try to change your feelings or stuff them away, you will often find that they rise back up with a vengeance and can become overwhelming. With time, though feelings are tempered. New experiences come along that allow us to look at the changes in a more positive way and allow new, positive feelings to come in and sit with and eventually replace our sadness.

Finally, I think the last paragraph in the article is the most important. In order to create positive change during a time of transition one needs to be open to taking new risks and making mistakes along the way. It takes a willingness to make oneself vulnerable if one is going to make something great out of the inevitable transitions in our lives.

Best wishes to all of you as we enter this exciting time of change and renewal. For the complete article see: http://healthpsychology.org/how-to-cope-with-transition-and-change/


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