Twenty-One Tips for Adjusting to Life Transitions - Even Those Transitions You Don't Like

Life is full of transitions. The first big transition is birth.  Can you imagine suddenly being pushed into the world from the comfort of your mother’s womb?  I can only imagine how traumatic this is.

All transitions whether they are welcomed or not, take energy.  According to the Holmes And Rahe Stress Scale they include:

·         Death of a spouse (or child):

·         Divorce:

·         Marital separation:

·         Imprisonment:

·         Death of a close family member:

·         Personal injury or illness:

·         Marriage:

·         Dismissal from work:

·         Marital reconciliation:

·         Retirement:

To Learn more the Homes and Rahe Stress Scale: Click Here

Wedding

There are many other stressors.  They include:

·         First significant time away from your parents

·         Parents for the first time leaving their children with a caregiver to go on a date

·         Going to school for the first time.

·         Going from Elementary school to Middle School or High School.

·         First date

·         First kiss

·         Breakups

·         Marriage

·          First job

·         Changing jobs

·         Moving to a new community

·         Giving birth to your first child

·         Pregnancy

·         Children leaving home

·         Learning anything new

You are going to walk through transitions more easily if you can stay open to the wisdom from your three body centers (body-sensations, heart-emotions and heads-thoughts).

You are going to stay more relaxed if you can stay present. When you are present, you are fully open to the inner and outer wisdom that is available to you now.

 

Here are twenty-one tips for adjusting to life’s transitions:

1.      Be gentle with yourself:

An excellent place to start is to be kind to yourself.  Remind yourself that you are human and not meant to be perfect.   

 

2.      Learn to forgive yourself:

You need to forgive yourself before you can forgive anyone else. Instead of seeing yourself as a failure, choose to see life as an adventure -- learning more about yourself through the good and bad times.

Look for the humour in your response to life.  Try not to take yourself too seriously.  Celebrate what you learn through the ups and downs of life.

Learn from your mistakes. Ask for forgiveness for choices you have made, and words spoken that have hurt others.

 

If you come from a religious tradition go to your spiritual roots.  In Judaism, Christianity and the Muslim faith the scritpures affirm the unconditional love of God.

 

3.      Meditate:

Mediation is a great tool to quiet your mind. There are hundreds of ways to meditate.  They include:

a.      Mindfulness

b.      Centering Prayer

c.       Body Scan

d.      Breathing Meditation

e.      Sound meditation

f.        Loving Kindness

g.      Gratitude Meditation

h.      Forgiveness Meditation

These are just a few of the many ways to meditate. There are great Apps out there to help you to contemplate.  The three I recommend are Calm, Headspace and Insight Timer.  Insight Timer is the only app that is free with the option to pay more for increased services.

Meditation is a fantastic way to get in touch with your inner world.  The more you do it, the more you get in touch with the sensations of your body, the emotions of your heart and access to your quiet mind.  It has the potential to change your life.

 

4.      Pray:

Prayer is like meditation.  Look for the spiritual practices of your faith tradition.  In Christianity, there are many forms of prayer.  For example, you might discover Lectio Divina or Contemplation.

Lectio Divina is a practice when you listen to a short passage from the Christian Scripture to deepen your understanding of how God is calling you to live today.  

First, you choose a scripture. Read it out loud to yourself. Take some moments of silence and notice what words and phrases spoke to you. Then you reread it. Then in silence see where the spirit is leading you. You can do this several times which in the end might lead to a conversation with God.

Another form of prayer is called contemplation. Contemplation is when you choose a passage in the Gospel where Jesus is speaking. You use your senses, seeing, hearing, tasting, touching, and smelling to make the Gospel come alive to you.

Learn More About: Lectio Divina and Contemplation: Click Here

 

5.      Focus on what you can change and let the rest go:

You might want to have a conversation with yourself from time to time to discern if you are focussing on what you can change.  For example, worrying about the weather is not going to be useful because you have no control over it. However, you do have control over your behaviour.

 

6.      Get plenty of sleep:

You are going to find adjusting to change in your life much easier if you have enough sleep.  Be honest with yourself about how much sleep you need.  If you know you need eight hours sleep every night make sure you get it.  Your helping no one, by staying up too late.

When you are tired you get frustrated more easily, your more likely to say something you will regret, you won’t be thinking clearly, and you won’t be efficient.  In the end, your ability to move with the changes of life will become difficult.

When you are living with no physical, emotional or mental reserves, even the simplest of change in life becomes difficult. 

7.      Eat nutritious food:

Are you like many of us who focus more on convenience rather than healthy food. An excellent way to slow down and nurture your body is to take the time to create your meal from scratch. 

You know what is in it.  You have the satisfaction of having made it, and even better to have someone to share a meal.  When your body feels good, you will have lots more energy. 

When your heart is full because you had the sacred time of sharing a meal with someone you care about, you will experience greater satisfaction.

So, when you are facing one of your many transitions in life, you will know that you are not alone in this life of constant change. Knowing you are not alone can make all the difference.

8.      Listen to music that resonates with you:

Music is a beautiful way to center the soul.  It helps you to slow down and stay in the moment. It helps you to access your inner wisdom by being able to go within yourself.  It helps you to pay attention to what is going on around you.   

When you choose the right music for yourself, it will reduce your stress.  It can bring joy to your heart.  Music can help you to feel connected to all of life. It can help to free you from fear and anxiety because the music reminds you that you are not alone.

9.      Go for walks:

Walks are great to get in touch with yourself.  If you set the intention at the beginning of the walk to quiet your mind, open your heart and listen to your body, the exercise and silence can help you to become more grounded.

The great thing about walking is that it doesn’t cost any money.  You don’t need fancy equipment other than comfortable shoes you can walk anywhere you go.  You can do it as a form of transportation or an intentional time to release stress. 

Walking raises your endorphins making it much easier to steer through the many ups and downs of life.

10.  Journal:

A great way to go deeper into your soul is to journal.  It is time to allow yourself to process whatever is going on in your life.  Just write whatever comes to your mind. Try to get in touch with your bodily sensations, emotions and thoughts. 

Journaling can help you to release heavy stuff in your life that is holding you back.  You might even want to have some ritual to help you release heavy emotions by burning up the paper or ripping it up and throwing it into the garbage. Whatever works best for you!

You can also journal with images whether you draw them or cut them out from an old magazine. There are many ways to express yourself. Find out what works best for you.

 

11.  Dance:

Dance is a great way to get in touch with your body. Any form of dance can help you to learn from your physical sensations. Dancing helps you to become more aware of your muscles.  The more aware you are of your body, the more you will learn what you truly need. 

Dance also requires rhythm.  Dance can help you to discover the rhythm of your life.  Even if you find it hard to find your rhythm you still have one.

The more you able to metaphorically dance through life the easier it will be for you to face all the transitions in your life from marriage to death of loved ones.

12.  Sing:

I believe you are meant to sing.  No matter how good or bad you think, you sound it is still essential for you to sing. Singing gets us in touch with something profound. You might call it the spirit within you.

Singing has a way to get you in touch with your heart. It helps you to feel what is going on in your heart. It helps you to be free to experience and express the many emotions you feel every day.

Singing can be particularly helpful when you are going through significant change.  It has a way of grounding you to make this time of changes as productive as possible.

13.  Play:

Think of all the changes children go through in life.  Most of them handle it well. It is play that can help them to move through the many challenges.

Play is all about creating a safe space to grow more and more into who you are meant to be. It has boundaries to keep you safe.  It provides a safe space to experiment.  It creates opportunities to grow and build self-confidence. 

Play is fun!  Life seems much easier to deal with when you have fun in life.  With plenty of fun in your life, you have enough resilience to face some of the most challenging times in life.

14.  Practice intentional deep breathing:

Breathing exercises are a simple tool to help you to calm down and stay grounded.  Yes, you can use breathing exercises as part of meditation.  But even more importantly short breathing exercises can be used in the middle of meetings, middle of conversations and during a conflict.

All you must do is briefly stop what you are doing and focus on your breathing while you take deep breaths. It naturally helps you to calm down. It usually helps you to quiet your mind.

You can learn to do this subtly, so no one else around you need to know. 

15.  Yoga, Tai Chi, and Massage

Yoga, Tai Chi and Massage are examples of three body practices that help you to live in harmony with your body. 

 

Find what works best for you.  It is all about you befriending and honouring your body.  It is all about you learning to pay attention to your body so you can discover its wisdom.

 

16.  Spend time with a good friend:

You are not meant to be alone in life.  Whether or not you are in a relationship you need friends. No one person can meet all your needs.

There is something powerful when two people get together who care about each other.  It becomes a place where you can be your authentic self.  It is a place where you know you will be honoured and respected.  It is a place that reminds you; you are not alone.

There is something healing when you can share the highs and lows of your life with another person especially when you feel heard.

17.  Befriend your inner critic:

You have an inner critic. It is that negative voice within you that wants to keep you safe by keeping you focussed on the familiar.  It has good intentions.

The inner critic wants to keep you stuck in the limitations of your ego.  The ego is neither good or bad.  It kept you alive when you were young. As an adult, it can hold you back if you are not aware of it.

The more you become aware of it, the less control it will have over you. 

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18.  Learn about the psychological-spiritual tool called the Enneagram:

There are many tools and teachings available to you. Here is the tool I most recommend. It is called the Enneagram.  It provides you with a map to physical, emotional, mental and spiritual health.

 There are nine different types; no type is better than another. They are just different.  

The Enneagram points to the place you already get stuck. When you use the Enneagram properly, it helps you to get out of your box by getting you as healthy as you can in all nine types.

The Enneagram can help you to increase your self-confidence, enhance emotional well-being, improve communications skills, and find direction.

It is for people who are committed to long term personal work.  It is not a quick fix. For many people, including myself, it has and continues to change my life for the better.

 

19.  Get the help of a counsellor, religious leader or coach:

As I said before you don’t need to try and live this life alone.  If you choose to get help, this is a sign of your strength and courage. 

Take the time to find the best person for you. If you have mental health issues a counsellor, phycologist or psychiatrist may be best for you.  

If you want someone to help you overcome old habits, find a new direction, have better romantic relationships and improve self-confidence a professional coach might best serve you.

20.  Practice radical gratitude:

Practicing gratitude every day can help you to change your mindset.  It is hard to be angry, moody and miserable when you are feeling thankful.

Living with gratitude helps you to focus on what you have and not worry about what you don’t have.

It helps you to have a world half full attitude rather than half empty.

21.  Read books that nurture your soul:

Reading is a great way to inspire you. If you find reading hard, you can listen to an audiobook.  All of these are available from your local library.

If you don’t know what to read find a book club that meets in person or one that meets online.

You might want to have two on the go.  Choose one that entertains you another that is going to push your personal growth.

Photo by  Frans Hulet  on  Unsplash

 

What tips would you add to my list?  Pick the tips that work for you.  In the end, you want to find ways to get in touch with your whole self, the body, the heart and the mind.

You want to find people to journey with your life.  People who you can reveal your true self.  People who you can trust to share what is going on in your soul. People who you are willing to be there for you.

The most important tip to managing life’s transitions is to stay emotionally, physically and mentally healthy.

To stay healthy requires us to take good care of ourselves through proper rest, good food and time for play.

There is never shame in asking for help whether that is family, friend, clergy or professional coach or counsellor.

The worst thing you can do is try to avoid these transitions, but they will happen no matter whether we want them to happen.

If you can see life as a great adventure, and are willing to work on yourself you will be ready to face the many transitions you will encounter in life.  Enjoy the experience.

I am, Roland Legge a Life Coach here to help you to move through the transitions of life. You can join my private newsletter list for Free Monthly Advice and get Your Free Enneagram Test and sign up for a Free 30 Minute Discovery Call with me in my Acuity Scheduling Calendar.