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4 Ways to Deal with Big Life Changes

4 Ways to Deal with Big Life Changes

Change is constant. Whether it’s in the workplace or our relationships, nothing in life ever remains quite the same.

Regardless of the gravity of change, it can always be a little scary. So scary, in fact, that some people are downright crippled by the idea of it causing them to remain stagnant in anxiety.

Think about it for a second. Have you ever noticed how much of life’s transitional periods are ridden with anxious vibes? The Quarter Life Crisis, The Mid-Life Crisis, wet feet before getting married, freaking out when you retire, teenage angst, and going from relationship to relationship are just a few examples of transitional periods when people tend to panic.

We can’t control every aspect of our lives and we can’t stop change from happening. But how we respond to change will greatly affect our overall life experience.

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    1. Don’t fight it

    I once heard one of my favorite yoga instructors say “Suffering is what occurs when we resist what is already happening.” The lesson has stuck with me ever since.

    Life changes are usually out of our control. Rather than trying to manipulate the situation and wishing things were different, try flowing with it instead.

    Of course, some initial resistance is natural if we’re going into survival mode. Just make sure you are conscious of when this resistance is no longer serving you.

    2. Find healthy ways to deal with your feelings

    Whenever we’re in transitional periods it can be easy to lose track of ourselves. Sometimes we feel like we’re being tossed about by life and like we’ve lost our footing, causing some very uncomfortable feelings to rise.

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    One way we can channel these feelings is by finding healthy ways to release them. For instance, whenever I find myself in a difficult transitional phase I end up in a mixed martial arts studio.

    The physical activity helps me channel my emotions and release endorphins. It also helps me get in shape which generally increases my mood and energy levels.

    3. Reframe your perspective

    Reframing perspectives is a very powerful tool used in life coaching. It helps clients take  a situation they are struggling with, such as a major life change, and find some sort of empowerment in it.

    Some examples of disempowered thinking during life changes include casting blame, focusing on negative details or victimizing. These perspectives can make awkward transitional phases much worse than they have to be.

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    Meanwhile if we come from a more positive perspective such as finding a lesson in the situation, realizing that there may be an opportunity for something or that everything passes we can come from a greater place of ease.

    4. Find time for self-reflection

    Having time to reflect is important at any stage in your life, but it’s especially important during transitional periods.It’s quite simple really, we need our time to step back and get centered when things get a little crazy.

    As a result, big life changes are perfect for doing some self-reflection. They are opportunities to check in with ourselves and practice getting grounded for a few minutes.

    Self-reflective exercises include meditating, yoga or journaling – all of which require some quiet time to get yourself together.

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    Big life changes may rock us for a little while, but they don’t have to be as bad as we initially perceive them. If handled in a positive manner transitional periods can pave the way for some serious self-growth, reflection and awareness.

    Featured photo credit by Sean MacEntee via Flickr (CC BY 2.0) and inline photo Railway via Shutterstock

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    Last Updated on December 9, 2019

    5 Simple Ways to Relieve Stress Effectively

    5 Simple Ways to Relieve Stress Effectively

    Everyone experiences mental stress at one time or another. Maybe you’re starting a new career, job, or business, or you feel incredibly overwhelmed between work, parenting, and your love life (or a lack of it). It could even be that you simply feel that you have way too much to do and not enough time to do it,  plus, on top of everything, nothing seems to be going the way it should!

    Yup, we all experience mental stress from time-to-time, and that’s okay as long as you have the tools, techniques and knowledge that allow you to fully relieve it once it comes.

    Here are 5 tips for relieving mental stress when it comes so you can function at your best while feeling good (and doing well) in work, love, or life:

    1. Get Rationally Optimistic

    Mental stress starts with your perception of your experiences. For instance, most people get stressed out when they perceive their reality as “being wrong” in some way. Essentially, they have a set idea of how things “should be” at any given moment, and when reality ends up being different (not even necessarily bad), they get stressed.

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    This process is simply a result of perception and can be easily “fixed” by recognizing that although life might not always be going as YOU think it should, it’s still going as it should—for your own benefit.

    In fact, once you fully recognize that everything in your life ultimately happens for your own growth, progress, and development—so you can achieve your goals and dreams—your perception works in your favor. You soon process and respond to your experience of life differently, for your advantage. That’s the essence of becoming “rationally optimistic.”

    The result: no more mental stress.

    2. Unplug

    Just like you might need to unplug your computer when it starts acting all crazy, you should also “unplug” your mind.

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    How on earth do you unplug your mind? Simple: just meditate.

    It isn’t nearly difficult or complicated as some people think, so, if you don’t already meditate, give it a try. Whether you meditate for 5 minutes, 30 minutes, or 2 hours, this is a surefire way to reduce mental stress.

    Meditation has been scientifically proven to relax your body (resulting in less mental stress), while also reducing anxiety and high blood pressure.

    3. Easy on the Caffeine

    Yes, we know, we know—everyone loves a nice java buzz, and that’s okay, but there’s a fine line between a small caffeine pick-me-up and a racing heart and mind that throws you into a frenzy of mental stress.

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    Try giving up caffeine for a while and see how you feel. And, if that’s completely out of the question for you, at least try to minimize it. You might find that lots of your mental stress mysteriously “disappears” as your caffeine intake goes down.

    4. Attack Mental Stress Via the Back Door

    That’s right: your body and mind are part of the whole being, and are constantly influencing and affecting each other. If you’re experiencing a lot of mental stress, try to reduce it by calming your body down—a calm body equals a calmer mind.

    How do you calm your body down and reduce physical stress? A  great way to reduce physical stress (thereby reducing mental stress) is to take natural supplements that are proven to reduce stress and anxiety while lifting your mood. Three good ones to look into are kava-kava, St John’s wort, and rhodiola rosea:

    • Kava-kava is a natural plant known to have mild sedative properties, and you should be able to find it at your natural health food store or vitamin store. It’s available in capsules or liquid extract form.
    • St John’s wort is a natural flower used to treat depression. Again, it’s found at your local health store in capsules or liquid. Because it uplifts mood (enabling you to see the brighter side of all experiences) it helps relieve mental stress as well.
    • Rhodiola rosea is a natural plant shown to reduce stress and uplift mood, and Russian athletes have been using it forever. Like the other two supplements mentioned, rhodiola rosea can be found at your natural health store in capsule or liquid form.

    While these supplements are all natural and can be very helpful for most people, always check with your health care provider first as they can cause side-effects depending on your current health situation etc.

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    5. Good Old-Fashioned Exercise

    This tip has been around forever because it works. Nothing relieves mental stress like running, kickboxing—you name it. Anything super-physical will wipe out most of your mental stresses once the exercise endorphins (happy chemicals) are released into your brain.

    The result: mental stress will be gone!

    So, if you’re feeling overwhelmed or just plain stressed, try using some of the above tips. You can even print this out or save it to refer to regularly.

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