Every move brings changes that may look like challenges but which can also be great opportunities to re-design your life and bring you greater satisfaction.
A move can be an entry door to an exciting new life.
Leaving a certain place might mean leaving old habits, ineffective routines, or unsatisfying relationships. It might be the first step towards a more fulfilling, vibrant future. At the same time, changing your environment can feel stressful – packing up your belongings, canceling plans, sorting through personal items, and organizing transportation….all of this may feel tedious and exhausting.
Saying goodbye to people dear to your heart, locations where you have created memories, places that brought you joy, and connections that have been meaningful. While you may feel excited about this new chapter in your life, you may also be
grieving familiarity. You likely took time to consider this decision and assessed your options. But being sure that your choice is the right thing and still having thoughts of doubt and feelings of intimidation can co-exist.
Change is inevitable in life. Sometimes changes are slower and steadier; other times, they come abruptly and are overpowering. To evolve and progress, every organism must change. But what about our beloved comfort, our longing for predictability and security?
Moving towards acceptance
Some researchers and psychologists have equated moving–under any circumstance– to the Kübler-Rosses model of grief. It suggests that you may feel denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance.
You might be in denial before your move, telling everyone how excited you are and that you are almost done packing up your old place. You downplay the things you’ll miss or the challenges you’ll face. After the move, you might feel angry that you have made the decision and that nothing seems to go according to plan. You might bargain, perhaps by thinking about reversing your decision or brainstorming ideas to avoid the move or it’s consequences. You might experience depressing sensations of hopelessness, sadness, and loneliness as you regret that which you’ve left. And at some point, you will accept the transition and change and, in many cases, find a way to see all the improvement and learning the change has brought you. You might look back and realize that you “outgrew” your old location, that an amazing metamorphosis occurred, and that you transformed into a wiser, braver, more stellar version of yourself.
How can you move through the difficult stages and reach acceptance? These five strategies may help:
1. Invite your own emotions in
Allowing ourselves to feel can sometimes seem scary. It is very understandable that we would like to avoid experiencing pain. However, when you acknowledge and allow the thoughts and feelings you are experiencing, it will likely be easier to let them go calmly. Research suggests a correlation between cultivating mindfulness and maintaining a sense of mental well-being. Simply noticing and allowing emotions can make them less overwhelming and more manageable. Mindful practices may help in practicing a non-judgmental standpoint toward your emotions, which helps you notice them without reacting. Instead of trying to push emotions away, you might learn to ride them like ocean waves.
2. Realize where you stand in the grieving process
Although the Kübler- Ross Model appears to follow a straight line, there is a good chance that we may re-enter previous stages every now and then. Some days might feel easier than others. The good news is that we often feel less overwhelmed by challenging sensations than we did when we experienced them for the first time. It is natural that feelings may come back for some time and then move on. Research suggests that simply naming emotions can make them feel more manageable.
Acknowledging where you are in the grieving process may normalize your experience and make you feel less alone in the process.
3. Strengthen your inner companion.
Talking to ourselves compassionately and kindly is even more important when we feel vulnerable and delicate. If you notice that you put yourself down instead of providing yourself with a word of encouragement, research suggests that imagining yourself as a child might help you choose more thoughtful words when talking to yourself. Research also supports engaging in self-soothing activities, such as tasting pleasant teas, listening to favorite pieces of music, touching a soft sweater, or smelling scented candles, likely supports us in easing distress and regaining equilibrium.
4. Cultivate positive thought patterns
Negative thought patterns may loop repeatedly in our minds and lead to self-limiting beliefs about ourselves. It is natural for our minds to search for danger cues, as being on high alert increased our chance for survival in primal times. However, excessive worrying and jumping to negative conclusions is less helpful in today’s modern society. You may think that the frustrations or loneliness will last forever or that you “should” feel happy by now and have trouble taking a bigger perspective. Simply being aware and paying attention to our faulty thinking habits is already a big part of dismantling them. Research shows that challenging cognitive distortions takes practice and patience, but cultivating more positive self-talk can significantly change the perceived quality of life.
5. Seek help and support.
Adjusting to new surroundings and creating a new life can feel unmanageable. You do not need to go through this alone. If you seek emotional support, encouragement, or an ally, please reach out to our Team at Tampa Bay Center for Relational Psychology. Our experts will assist you in creating the new life you desire. You’ve already proved yourself to be a person who approaches risk and change with courage and persistence. Regardless of the choices to come, you can be pleased with
yourself for the opportunities you pursued and the new knowledge and experience you gained.
You’ve already proved yourself to be a person who approaches risk and change with courage and persistence. Regardless of the choices to come, you can be pleased with yourself for the opportunities you pursued and the new knowledge and experience you gained.
As the war in the Middle East has become inflamed, the world feels the pain and suffering of the region. The way people make sense of the situation varies based on world views, politics and lived experiences. A sense of being divided is not a new phenomenon for Americans, as many have felt marginalized and “othered” within their own families due to our own domestic politics and religious beliefs. But there can still be a lot of upset, walking on eggshells, grief, and fear that we hold. The desire to seek support and support others is human, so it can be especially difficult when we’re not sure how to interact with others who don’t share our opinions and experiences. The capacity to maintain emotional safety and hold space for the views of others becomes challenging when we as humans don’t feel emotionally safe.
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