Change = Transition = Adjustment = Stress

Change = Transition = Adjustment = Stress

Even positive change can feel stressful, very stressful. The Life Change Index lists significant life changes that we experience, along with a rating scale. You can check off life events to appreciate the degree of stress brought on by transition.

I had happened to be living five such life events simultaneously just over a year ago—all due to to saying “Yes!” to the man I wanted to marry. The resulting buying a home, renovating, move, and marriage felt so overwhelming. At times, I felt frozen in my tracks. The urge to nap or go to bed early would cloak me like a heavy blanket, and I would fall into bed at night, exhausted. Life was very physical with moving items, gardening and a myriad of activities related to settling into my home and town. Neural pathways in my brain rerouted as my normal routine changed. Finding a post office in my new neighborhood even felt like a monumental task. It was challenging to create a comfort zone!

All change requires much adapting, even positive change. Whether you’re starting a new program of study or a job, entering a new relationship or moving to a new country or home—all positive life events—stress commonly happens. You must adjust. You must transition. Remember that you are doing hard work, much like heavy lifting. You will be tired. You will need to call upon your reserves. Consider that your brain is actually engaging in new learning. And learning can be tiring, if not downright exhausting! Pace yourself and be gentle with yourself. Before you know it, that three-week adjustment period will pass and it will feel as though you’ve always been where you are. You can enjoy your new passage, knowing that you now have the tools and fortitude to face transition time and again.

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