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Life Transitions can Bring Pain or Joy – It Depends on Your Attitude

Life Transitions 2

Humans are creatures of habit. Most of us prefer routine and stability. However, life transitions are inevitable.

When we face life transitions we often become anxious – even afraid – because these changes disrupt our self-confidence.Positive life transitions may include such things as getting married, moving to another place, starting a new job, having children, graduating from school/college, or even retiring. Negative ones include things like losing a job/money, facing a debilitating illness, going through a breakup/divorce, or perhaps the death of a loved one.Negative transitions, in particular, can hit us hard. Being unprepared when we’re faced with a sudden and traumatic change can provoke strong feelings of loss. Yet, even positive life transitions are often more difficult than we might have anticipated.Despite it all, each transition present the opportunity to bring us either pain or joy. Yes – no matter whether they are positive or negative. It all depends on your attitude!

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Attitude Does Matter during Life Transitions

It may be cliché, but attitude really does make a difference. It plays a big role in whether any transition brings out the best in us or the worst. And unlike your circumstances,which you often can’t control, you can have control of your attitude.

So, how can you keep your attitude positive despite all the unknowns life transitions bring?

  • Be Patient and Realistic

Part of your identity is connected to your surroundings. Every time you move forward, you leave something else behind. It is disturbing and creates a state of grief. So, expect to feel anxious because of not knowing if you can really deal with the transition.

But also be patient with yourself and with your expectations. It takes time to feel comfortable with new circumstances. Of course, there will be difficult days where you might just want to give up. Take a deep breath and stay calm. Those anxious moments are just reflections of your shaky state of mind.

  • Remind Yourself

Remind yourself that you need to acknowledge the loss, close the door on it, and stop staring at the door. Turn the other direction and hit the ground running!

Remind yourself of the big picture. If you made a deliberate change, recall why you made it and why you don’t regret the decision. If a change hit you by surprise, try to understand why it might have happened and what you may learn from it.

Remind yourself of other life transitions you dealt with successfully in the past. Recall what helped you then and what you could have done differently. Besides, you’ve acquired experience and skills along the way. This time, the circumstances may be new, but the process is the same.

  • Think Positive – Think Opportunity

Avoid pessimism and focus on the positive. Life transitions are an opportunity to grow. It gives you a chance to make improvements to your life. It’s a time to explore, brainstorm, and better yourself.

Don’t focus on limitations. Think outside the box. Occupy your mind with encouraging thoughts and focus on the reasons you can be happy. Above all, consider how you could bring the part of yourself you value most into your new role.

  • Focus On Others – Not Yourself

Unselfishness can bring deep satisfaction. Plus, the joy of doing something for another person  helps you cope with difficult circumstances. Look around and see who may need your support. Remember that everyone struggles at times – you’re not alone. Making a human connection can be a powerful aid to help you deal with big life transitions.

  • Build a Support System

Stay connected to your family and friends. The support from loved ones can help you keep perspective and feel grounded. But also make new connections. Find people you can really talk to. Sharing feelings can be a great source of strength.

About the author

Cristina Fandino, Ed.D., M.Ed. R.P.

 

Cristina M. Fandino, Ed.D.; M.Ed. is a registered psychotherapist who currently owns a private practice in the Beaches, Toronto. She specializes in depression, anxiety, addictions as well as expatriate and multicultural issues in couples and families.

Click here to learn more about my practice and services in The Beach Village

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Psychotherapy, Counselling, Coaching, Consulting

In my private practice, I offer individual counselling to young adults, adults and elderly people. I also provide therapy to couples and families. I welcome the diversity that clients may bring; thus, every ethnic background, religious beliefs, family composition and sexual orientation is respected.

I believe in a holistic approach to health and wellness which integrates the various dimensions of a human being – physical, psychological, emotional, spiritual, intellectual, cultural and social.

My office is in Toronto [The Beach Village] and I also offer distance counselling to those who are geographically distant from my office.

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