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What are Life Transitions?

If you have been feeling persistent feelings of frustration, anger, depression, stress, and/or anxiety, then you may be going through a difficult life transition. A life transition is a change from how life once was to what it is now. Some common examples are:

  • Moving into a new home

  • Graduating from school

  • Switching careers

  • Getting married

  • A passing of a loved one

  • Going back to school

  • Job loss

  • Getting into a new relationship

  • Got into a car accident

Transitions are psychologically hard is because humans are, to some degree, resistant to change. In addition, this newfound change in your life is forcing you to question your original values, beliefs, and your lifestyle. It leaves you with no choice but to adapt your mind to the new life transition. While you are adapting, you are having psychological conflicts within yourself between the new environment versus your original beliefs, values, and lifestyle.

Here is a very relatable scenario to help you appreciate the difficulty to life transition:

You have just achieved your first Bachelors and you're done school (congrats!). Now you are a full fledged adult with a Bachelors who is job hunting now. However, you get overwhelmed with so many applications and you apply and apply and apply, but you continually get rejected! Lately, you have been feeling a unconfident, depressed and "lost". Your hypothetical self had just experienced a life transition from school to work.

The reason why your hypothetical self is struggling is because you grew up having a "linear" mindset: you get good grades = you advance to the next grade. There are no left or rights - you're just going up. Unfortunately, the post-school life does not reflect this linear system, and so you are forced to adapt and re-evaluate your original belief.

So now, I want you to think of a recent life transition that happened to you. How were you feeling about it? What did you do to cope? What were your thoughts on it? How did you adapt to it before versus now? Life transitions are rough, but it allows you to grow into a stronger person. A wise and experienced person went through many rough transitions but was able to "make sense" from all their changes in life and learn from it.

About The Author

Jasmine Tsang is a Registered Psychotherapist (Qualifying) under the College of Registered Psychotherapist Ontario (CRPO) and the founder of Reflections Therapy. She specializes in providing counselling services for people facing challenges in their adulthood such as relationships, self-esteem issues, school & career stressors, anxiety, and depression. For more information about Jasmine, click here to read her bio.

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