Navigating Life Transitions: 5 Practices to Find Your Way

Navigating life transitions requires us to let go of stability and certainty and lean into vulnerability and change.  And who does that willingly? Not many of us.

In my own life and counseling practice, I notice the resistance to change when I hear the words, “Why me?”

But, with the right reframing and the application of EFT, we can turn the “Why me” of life transitions into “Why not me?”

The last year and a half has been fraught with change for all of us, myself included.

I moved my practice online and then back to my office. I fell in love. I bought a new car. Recently, I contracted and recovered from Covid. In the year ahead, I plan to buy a house and rescue a dog.

I’ve witnessed friends and clients go through separations, divorces, the passing of loved ones, and children leaving for college.  They’ve also seen babies born, children graduate, and loved ones marry.  As a culture, we’ve experienced significant political and social turmoil.

When too much change happens at once—even when it is positive change, this ebb and flow of life can leave us feeling less resilient and cycling through anxiety, grief, anger, and fear.

But, navigating life transitions can be exciting, even while difficult. They are an opportunity to step into a new phase of life or a new way of being—perhaps one for which you’ve been longing.

My divorce led me to find love again. Eventually, I transformed anger and fear into faith, peace, and joy.

I find these five practices help me and my clients cope with life transitions with grace, especially when those transitions get messy.   But, if you find your transitions are too much to handle alone, please seek help from a professional.

Navigating Life Transitions: 5 Practices to Find Your Way

  1. HAVE FAITH: You will get through the difficult times—even if it doesn’t feel like it at the moment. It’s your job to go through it. Good things are waiting for you on the other side change and uncertainty.
  2. TAP IT OUT: Use EFT to tap out the fear and other negative emotions around your life transition.
  3. SELF CARE IS VITAL: Drink water. Say thank you every day. Eat nutritious food and take walks, even short ones. Connect with nature and good friends. Clean a closet and give things to charity. Visualize yourself on the other side of this life transition. And, remember to breathe.
  4. SET GOALS: Setting small goals and achieving them helps the brain release feel-good chemicals, like dopamine and serotonin. These feel-good chemicals can make uncertainty more tolerable.
  5. ALLOW YOURSELF TO FEEL: In the body and the brain, the sensation of an emotion lasts just 90 seconds. So, for 90 seconds at a time, permit yourself to experience the waves of emotions and to identify them. Sometimes just labeling them will dampen their power and provide clarity.