Life transitions: Your guide to navigating the stress and anxiety of change

Change and the life transitions it brings can be stressful and scary. It’s okay to be leery of the unknown. It takes everyone time to adjust to new normals. Some life transitions are more difficult than others and can spark more intense stress and anxiety, or even other mental health problems. 

Why can life transitions be challenging?

Life transitions can come in all shapes and sizes and be expected or unexpected. Even transitions that are expected can be challenging. Some reasons life transitions are so challenging can be:

  • Change — Change in general can be challenging. We can be creatures of habit. A life transition is a change of any kind from our current normal. Learning a new change can be more time and energy consuming than life as we currently experience it. 

  • Increased stress — People experience different levels of stress in response to life transitions. Short term stress can be expected, however extended stress experience can be detrimental to you mentally, physically, and emotionally.

  • Unexpected changes — Expected changes cause stress, so it’s not a big leap for unexpected changes to also cause stress. When life transitions happen unexpectedly, we are caught unprepared and can have a more difficult time coping with the change. 


Signs you’re struggling with life transitions

When you are struggling with the stress and anxiety from a life transition for an extended period of time, it can start to have a bigger effect on your mental health. Some signs to look out for can be:

  • Isolation.

  • Loss of sense of self.

  • Grief.

  • Hopelessness.

  • Depression.

  • Increased anxiety.

  • Difficulty functioning.

  • Loss of interest in things you enjoy.

  • Difficulty concentrating.

  • Withdrawing from your support system.

  • Difficulty sleeping.


If you find yourself deeply struggling with the stress and anxiety that can accompany life transitions, there is hope, therapy may be able to help you. 

Therapy can help you cope with life transition struggles

A good therapist can help support you in your time of need dealing with the stress and anxiety of life transitions. Even with “good” change comes stress and your therapist can help you navigate this new season of life. 


Therapists can also help offer support and guidance during significant changes of loss such as divorce or the loss of a loved one. With therapy, you can learn how to navigate and cope with all of the life transitions that come your way. 


Some ways therapy can help you process the stress and anxiety due to life transitions can include:

  • Recognizing change is normal — Change is a natural part of life. Sometimes the change affects your life immediately and drastically. Sometimes it isn’t noticeable until you look back and reflect on a certain season of your life. 

  • Acknowledging your feelings are valid — Good and bad emotions we feel are an important part of life and part of our mental health. Attempting to ignore your feelings isn’t helpful. It is beneficial to acknowledge and try to experience them in a healthy way. Your therapist can help you learn healthy coping skills. 

  • Life transitions can be an opportunity to grow — Sometimes change is just what we need to make our life better. Sometimes we get lost in the bad parts of unexpected change and lose sight of how we can come out for the better. A therapist can help you navigate developing a mindset of growth rather than one of despair.

  • You don’t have to do this alone — No matter the season of life you currently find yourself in, you don’t have to do it alone. Lean on your support system, find a good therapist, and don’t isolate yourself. 

  • Be kind to yourself — Change is hard. Change won’t always be smooth transitions. Life is messy. Be kind to yourself. An easy way to do this is to imagine what you would say to a friend if they were going through your situation. It’s okay if your timeline doesn’t go according to how you think it should go. 

  • Identify negative thoughts about change — A beneficial treatment for anxiety due to life transitions can be cognitive behavioral therapy. Your therapist can help you identify the challenging negative thoughts about the change and can then help you change your frame of thinking. 


Change is normal but it doesn’t have to be overwhelming

Life is complicated and messy. When it comes to mental health, we believe there’s no one-size-fits-all. At Halcyon Therapy Group, we understand just how important you and your unique situation and perspectives are. That’s why we offer a suite of services tailored specifically to you and your needs. You deserve better, and we are here to help. Book your complimentary consultation today and start living the life you always dreamed of. 

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