Transitions. Back to school, new job, wedding, birth, relocation, unemployment, divorce, health crisis, death. Change is inevitable. How we deal with them either strengthens us or reduces our ability to have a happy, successful and healthy life.
Having loved ones experience six of the above in the last couple of months brought to my mind the different ways we can best use and learn from transitions. Even happy occasions and positive changes are stressful, and it helps to recognize how to manage them for our health and happiness.
"Times of transition are strenuous, but I love them. They are an opportunity to purge, rethink priorities, and be intentional about new habits. We can make our new normal any way we want." -- Kristin Armstrong
Here are six things you can do to lower the stress and maximize the positives of the transition:
- Acknowledge that something is ending. Recognizing the conclusion of the current phase helps us prepare for what is emerging, which is much more effective than pretending that it's not happening.
- Honor the transition. Leaving the status quo can be a challenge, give some time to the process. Celebrate or grieve the change as appropriate; sometimes it's both.
- Look for and give thanks for the lessons from the closing of the current chapter. Even when we are mourning the ending, find the positives in the situation and give thanks. We will be better equipped to move forward when we can learn from what is going away.
- Seek and give support in the change. Your loved ones and your community can celebrate or commiserate with you and help you. Also there are others who have experienced whatever you are going thorough; get their insights and encouragement to boost you. There are affinity and support groups for a diversity of issues, from school groups, self help groups, business networks and social committees that can help. Offer your experience and what you've found effective to help others. You will find connection, joy and strength in both giving and getting assistance.
- Explore the new possibilities. List and dream of the fresh opportunities that can come about. Especially if the change was unplanned or unexpected, give yourself some time before jumping into the next thing.
- Visualize the new phase. Put imagination, words and action into what is developing -- envision what you desire and hold the intention that it unfolds to be even better than you can picture. Your intention is powerful and you can influence the outcome by your conscious thoughts and action.
"Light precedes every transition. Whether at the end of a tunnel, through a crack in the door or the flash of an idea, it is always there, heralding a new beginning." -- Teresa Tsalaky
Here's to you and to embracing change!