Everyone will experience change, a transition, at one time or another.
There is nothing so consistent as change
During a time of transition, people normally experience stress because our brains and entire beings seek homeostasis, a survival mechanism. We want things to stay the same. here are some helpful tips to deal with transitions and the accompanying stress.
We can help others – and us – by doing three things:
1. Normalize This Time – People are not crazy; it’s normal to feel a whole range of emotions during this time. From depression, anger, sadness, & disappointment to confusion and triggers which remind us of previous trauma and loss; it’s all normal
2. Grieving The Loss – We all go through the stages of grief because in transition, we always lose something. As in the death of a loved one, the stages apply here as well: Shock and denial, anger and depression come and go as we grieve. Just when we think we’ve successfully navigated one stage, we find ourselves back in the same feelings. Again, that’s normal. Grieving is crazy-making! We eventuallymove to acceptance with sadness for the loss.
3. Process The Feelings – It’s important that people don’t stuff all that grief and emotions but rather have opportunity to process, or talk about, the change in a healthy manner. We can help by using the following skills:
- Create Safety – Provide confidentiality; knowing what they share with you won’t go any further.
- Listen without judgment – paraphrase the content and feeling; they will feel understood. “i.e., “I hear you saying you feel pretty angry about this.”
- What NOT To say:
- Just trust God
- Look on the bright side
- I conquered it this way
- Just read and pray more
- Or any other “advice-giving” statements. Unsolicited advice is like chopped liver – not appreciated.