From day one, our lives go through many changes. Our bodies change, as well as our minds, our relationships, our behaviors, values, needs, motivations and so on. Due to this transforming nature of our existence, we usually have to deal with events such as ending a relationship, quitting a job, losing a beloved one or giving up a bad habit, having a baby, changing career or moving abroad. Wanted or not, expected or not, change isn’t always easy and varied degrees of stress, anxiety and other emotional issues can come with it. This is why many people decide to look for professional support such as psychological counseling or therapy when they’re in a transitional life phase.
If you find yourself in that boat as well, you might consider seeing a counselor. Here’s a short list of what you can gain from counseling:
A place to manage stress – By definition, change means dealing with novelty and confronting the unknown. This triggers different amounts of stress, which can affect one’s behavior, as well as their psychological and physical health, as shown by research. Seeing a counselor before an expected change can prepare you to cope better with the coming situation by discussing or visualising what will happen to you next. Later on, during the process of change, a therapist can help you learn relaxation techniques, as well as how to make sense of your emotions. Most probably you will go on an emotional roller-coaster, going from hope to despair, from happiness to immense sadness, from fear to anger. You can also learn how to let go and how to take control over your life, or, simply put, how to find shelter in the middle of the storm.
A place to be emotional and vulnerable – For some of us it seems very difficult to accept that we are scared or that we need help. Change is often a time when we put aside many masks and discover we can be as frightened as a child: it’s not easy to accept that you’ll have a baby and be responsible for someone’s life for the next 18 years or to be left by someone you’ve been married to for decades. This is a time when you feel emotional and vulnerable and in counseling you can do it with no restrictions. Because this is a place where you’re not alone – it’s the place where you can cry and shout, where you can be listened to and accepted for who you are. Remember that we all go through changes and nobody is here to judge your tears.
A place to get informed – counseling isn’t only about listening to people, but also about orienting them in the right direction through the provision of insights and information. You might go through a difficult time after deciding to quit smoking or after being diagnosed with a life-long disease and would like to get some group support. A counselor can offer you information about where to find such groups or what other methods to use in order to cope with this new life situation.
A place to discover and re-discover your strengths – Changes usually test your strengths quite a bit, making you push yourself or, on the contrary, learn to accept our limits. Either way, you’ll end up learning something new about yourself and the better you know who you are and what you can do, the better you’ll cope with change now and in the future. A counselor is the witness of your progress, no matter how fast or slow that is, the honest mirror that you might need to look into in order to remember that you can make it.
A place to learn as you go – As human beings, we never stop learning: we make sense of past experiences, adapt to new ones and challenge ourselves to leave the comfort zone for more learning, which is then the equivalent of a even better adaptation and of a better life. During transitional periods, which throw us out of that comfort zone, the learning process is sped up and it can be quite easy to repeat past mistakes, to make fast decisions or just to give up and run away. A counselor can support you in staying on the right track, in connecting the past and the present, in understanding what went wrong before and what can be done to avoid or minimize unhappy outcomes. More than that, through counseling you can manage to structure your life better and to see the bigger picture: we all learn as we live and everything we live shapes us in beautiful ways if we get to make sense of it.
If you need support in dealing with change, we can help! Just give us a call at +1 847-967-0952.
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