Life transitions are periods in life involving lots of change to your lifestyle. They might also be a result of important events that make you stop and evaluate your life. Life transitions may run smoothly but people often struggle to adjust to change and may find these periods of life highly stressful and perhaps distressing. People often have problems adjusting to the concept of entering ‘middle age’ and may experience what is commonly called a mid-life crisis – they may go out and buy a sports car, leave their partner for a younger person or make extravagant purchases. This is because people start to evaluate their lives and their successes, a process that can be very painful and emotional and in which people may feel stuck.
Types of life transition
There are many events in life that people can find difficult to adjust to. Some of the most common ones are: reaching a significant age, e.g. 30, 40, 50, 60; getting married; becoming a parent; leaving university; changing job/losing your job; becoming ill or disabled; being bereaved; and retiring.
Dealing with life transitions at home
Experiencing a life transition can bring out all sorts of feelings in people. At such times it is common for people to evaluate their lives and ask themselves questions about their success, what they are doing and why, where they are going in life and what is important to them. If you are struggling to find answers to such questions, writing down a list of things that are important to you, what you have achieved in life and what you would like to achieve is a good starting point.
Try not to dwell on negatives, but use them to motivate you in the future. If you are having trouble writing a list of your personal achievements, values and goals, ask the opinion of someone you trust. This should help you realise what you have achieved and what’s important to you.
Further information on life transitionsDownload and read our free booklet on Managing Life Transitions (pdf)
Feel free to contact us to ask about psychological therapies available at our centres that may help with life transitions.