Life is constantly throwing us curveballs. As a matter of fact, the only constant is change. The ability to deal well with change and move from one curveball to another easily, can be hard.
Life changes are normal and being thrown off when things change is normal too. Transitions in life whether that be after a break-up, a career or job change, a move, a marriage, or any number of things, happen at different stages for everyone. Even though life change happens to everyone, not everyone deals with changes well, even happy ones.
So how do some people seem to be able to deal with changes better than others? Why do certain people, maybe you, get anxious or overwhelmed, the minute status-quo goes haywire? There could be a many number of reasons that impact your ability to be less adaptable or resilient. In therapy, people often discover that the anxiety they feel on the surface, stems from a more deeply rooted cause. What we know for sure, is that to be able to deal with life changes better, perception is critical. Perception is the filter through which we all view the world, our experiences, and impacts our beliefs about our ability to be ok with their outcomes.
Some of these things were greatly impacted by a person’s upbringing; Self-worth, support, and a negative mindset begin to take shape during development. The others, such as fear, health, and lack of information are influenced by how someone chooses to respond to the first set of factors.
Physical and emotional impacts of life changes can be seen early after a change is experienced. Insomnia is often the first thing that happens which people are dealing with a recent life change. Anxiety symptoms are also reported to occur after change happens. If the change is something out of your control and happens to negatively impact you (job loss, unexpected expenses, relocation) then depression, anxiety, or other emotions can occur.
The hardest thing when dealing with anxiety from a life change, or depression due to a recent event, is to figure out how to “bounce back” quicker. Sometimes, just knowing that the life change causing stress has a beginning and an end can be reassuring, but what do you do if that’s not always clear? First, you can start by identifying a few things that you may not have considered.
Marriage, births, graduations, promotions, and moving to a new place, are all examples of positive changes that can cause negative emotions. Try not to get wrapped up in the emotions so much as reminding yourself that it is normal for your body to react physically when it gets out of its routine.
People often worry that they won’t be able to “snap out of it” when they are feeling bad after a change. They struggle with getting lost in why they are feeling bad, instead of on, how normal it is to be uncomfortable due to life changes. Especially when they are out of your control or change your routines, normal daily life, or force you to find new support systems.
Anyone that has dealt with major changes in life circumstances that cause anxiety (divorce, breaking up, having to move, bankruptcy, etc.) will normally tell you they grew from the experience. While it may take months, or years, to experience this feeling, it is often reported by people who have gone through very challenging life changes.
There is a lot to be said for perception. What is perception? Perception is the way that you view and experience your world. Each individual person has a filter, unique to them, which filters their experiences and creates their perception of reality. When people are easily triggered by change, there could be core issues at hand which cause anxiety. If those core issues are fear-based, then it makes sense why life changes cause stress. The only way to truly stop those reactions and practice resiliency is to get help from a therapist in Orlando who can help you change any faulty core beliefs. Without that help, you won’t know what is broken or why you continue to perceive change as being scary.
Dealing with life changes that are unexpected, like a break-up that causes depression, are very difficult. Things like losing a job, getting a new boss that wants to change everything, being asked to move for your career, or finding out your spouse wants a divorce, are all unexpected life changes. Learning how to cope with change in positive ways can be easy if you incorporate a few strategies and begin to change the way you filter the information. Adjustment disorders are often how mental health counselors define this and the recommended treatment is short-term therapy.
Short-term therapy that is solution focused and action driven helps clients get out of the negative emotional state that can occur due to any life transition or change. If you can seek it sooner, rather than later, then you will find that the help will be a tremendous benefit for getting over any hurdle. Finding ways to deal with negative feelings after a change, ways to change perceptions causing anxiety, depression or stress, and how to shift a negative mindset into a positive one, are all strategies that a therapist will help you with.
The best ways to cope with life changes are different for everyone. The main thing to do is to evaluate and prioritize where the major issues are happening. Many people tend to use two types of coping techniques, negative or positive, when dealing with uncomfortable feelings. The coping techniques that clients learn in therapy are healthy, positive, and aim towards long-term solutions. Short-term relief is often seen with negative coping techniques. These might include substance use, isolation or avoidance, sleeping too much, or any other ways that provide temporary relief.
The best techniques for dealing with anxiety, depression or coping with negative feelings after a life change are many. Here is a short list that most clients, who start mental health counseling after major life change, say help immediately:
Change is constant and unavoidable. Everyone will experience things in their lives that will break up routines, throw them off balance, disrupt structure, and force them to deal with the unexpected. Even life changes that are happy cause anxiety. The point is that negative emotions stemming from a life change can be resolved quickly with therapy. Contact a therapist in Orlando Thrive Therapy at 407-592-8997 to find out how to get started feeling better today.
Heather Oller is a licensed Orlando therapist at Orlando Thrive Therapy, Coaching & Counseling who specializes in counseling Orlando couples, individuals, and families who are seeking changes in their lives. She has been a mental health professional for over 17 years and is a practicing Orlando counselor that specializes in conflict resolution for couples. You can contact her for an appointment or call 407-592-8997 for more information.