Dealing With Big Changes, Good Or Bad

By Barton Goldsmith Tribune News Service.

There has been a big change in your world, many things are now in question, and you are wondering what is to become of your life. When big changes occur, even very positive ones, it can leave you full of questions and anxious about what's next.

Dealing with change is about the most difficult thing you can do after you've become settled in your lifestyle.

If your family is close, and your eldest (or youngest) decides to move out, it can be a shocker, and something you will have to adjust to, even if your first thoughts may be about renting out his or her room. And if a child decides to marry, then you are not only losing a son or daughter but taking on a bunch of in-laws who have their own ideas and agendas.

There are also changes that are not positive, like the loss of a loved one, which will throw you into the same type of tailspin, but with more emotional pain and stress. This is the time when you need to honor your feelings and talk to those who will be understanding about your plight. It's important to remember that not everyone is going to see and feel things as you do, so you have to be careful about who you choose to let your feelings out to.

Wanting to cry at numerous moments throughout the day is normal for someone going through any kind of big change and the stress that goes along with it. Many people hold in their emotional pain all day until they can get home and then cry or mask the pain with something. I strongly suggest that you let yourself cry, because that is the best way to get it out. Trying to cover it up or run from it never works.

It has been said that the only thing you can count on in life is change, because everything does. Going with the flow is a great idea, if you can, but most people resist the process, especially when the changes they encounter are uncomfortable. The real truth is that the only choice you have is to do the best you can with what is going on in and around your life.

These are times when getting in touch with your innermost thoughts and emotions can be very helpful. Soon after a big change, it is wise to engage in meditation or just sit quietly and listen to what your mind is telling you. This way, you can sort through all the feelings and see where you really are. It can be hard to quiet your anxiety and be able to listen, but take your time and don't give up. I have taught this technique to many people, and it almost always works. Just breathe and feel what's going on inside you. It is actually a calming experience and will give you more insight into how to deal with what is ahead for you.

A big change may be just what you needed, or it may disrupt your life in ways you never could have imagined. Many people have taken negative experiences and turned them around, by taking the time to think about and process the whats and whys of what is going on with them. Just give it a try. ___ (Dr. Barton Goldsmith, a psychotherapist in Westlake Village, Calif., is the author of "The Happy Couple: How to Make Happiness a Habit One Little Loving Thing at a Time.")

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