Significant transitions in life are often a source of great happiness and excitement. For many, graduating from college, starting a new job, or expecting a new baby are joyful times to be celebrated and commemorated.  For others, however, these changes may instead, or concurrently, engender feelings of apprehension, anxiety, and/or depression.  How we respond depends on our innate qualities, the situation at hand, and our previous experiences.

How to Cope with Change

Saying goodbye to the familiar and approaching the unknown can prove to be incredibly stressful and scary.  These feelings can cause relationship problems, difficulties with daily functioning, and may interfere with successfully moving forward.

Acknowledging the feelings associated with what gets left behind is essential to managing any major change.  If you are moving to a new house, you may be saying good-bye to the house you bought after saving up for years.  If you are having a new baby, you may have to mourn your lost sense of freedom.  Graduating college may mean leaving your best friends behind to move to a new city.  If you fail to acknowledge any feelings you may have associated with what you’re transitioning from, it makes it difficult to comfortably embrace what you are transitioning to.

When to Seek Professional Help

Plan and prepare as much as possible, and learn to accept that there are some events that we cannot control, no matter how much we plan and prepare.  If you find yourself on the verge of a life transition and are experiencing any distressing psychological symptoms, please seek help from a mental health professional.