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         Life transitions, whether good or bad, can be STRESSFUL.

A negative life event causes “distress,” while a positive life event causes something called “eustress.” Our bodies physiologically react to distress and eustress with the same change in internal equilibrium, which is why positive transitions can be perceived as stressful by the brain and body, even if the change is good!

Some common life transitions include:

  • Marriage
  • Moving
  • Beginning school/college/graduate school
  • Job loss
  • A new job
  • Leaving home
  • Breaking up/Divorce
  • The death of someone close to you
  • Having a child
  • Retirement
  • Becoming an empty nester
  • Having a health crisis

Difficulty processing and managing stress can lead to various symptoms including: increased blood pressure, muscle tension, nausea, head, jaw, neck, or back pain, dizziness, sweaty palms, clumsiness, and shallow breathing.

Emotional and mental signs include worry, anxiety, irritability, anger outbursts, difficulty concentrating, insomnia, depression, confusion, guilt, and memory loss.

You may find yourself feeling lonely, exhausted, or overwhelmed at the changes going on in your life.




1. Define your PURPOSE. Identifying what you are passionate about can help keep you grounded and give you hope for the future as you navigate new situations.

2. Take care of YOU. You won’t be able to control everything going on around you, but you can take care of how you treat you! Staying away from unhealthy, addicting habits and maintaining healthy ones (exercise, healthy eating, etc) will go a long way towards helping you cope.

3. Learn from ADVERSITY. Reframe this change as an opportunity to learn and grow. If this change feels like a “failure” try to imagine it as a “temporary setback” and search for ways this can be a fresh beginning.

4. Control your ENVIRONMENT. Surround yourself with positive and supportive people who will help you adapt! Life is too short to be full of negativity.

5. TIME. Take time to realize what you can’t change and focus your efforts on what you can change. Take a note from the Serenity Prayer: “God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.” Realize also that time itself can help to ease the stress of change. Give yourself time to adjust, be kind to yourself and give yourself grace during this transition.

6. Operate with CAUTION. If a lot is changing at once think through decisions before doing something rash. If you are in a fragile emotional state try to hold off on making life-changing decisions for the time being.

Adapted from: