Life transitions are challenging because they press us to let go of our accustomed and familiar ways.
Many life transitions begin with a loss:
- The loss of a place
- The loss of a person
- The loss of a role
- The loss of your sense of where you fit in the world
When your future is filled with questions, it is normal to feel vulnerable. We can feel very uncomfortable with uncertainty, as anxiety is caused when we suffer a loss.
A life transition can be positive or negative, planned or unexpected. Some transitions happen without warning, and they may be quite dramatic, as in cases of accidents, death, divorce, job loss, or serious illness. Other life transitions come from positive experiences such as going to college, moving in with someone, getting married, starting a new job, moving location, or having a baby. Even though events like these are usually planned and anticipated, they can be just as life-altering as the unexpected events.
Life transitions can press us to leave old ways behind and force us to alter our way of living whether they are positive or negative, at least temporarily. They can leave us feeling completely unprepared and we may be thrown into a personal crisis, feeling shocked, angry, sad, and withdrawn.
Times of life transitions offer you the chance to explore what your ideal life would look like. When things are in disarray, you can reflect on the hopes and dreams you once had but perhaps forgot about. Taking the time to speak with a therapist can help you set new goals and attune to a new way of living.