Whether moving to a new city, coping with a health scare or starting a family, we all go through periods of adjustment that can be extremely challenging. Good or bad, these events can be traumatic and can create tension between spouses and strain relationships, leading to disagreements and conflicts that overwhelm us, leaving us feeling unprepared to handle them. However, with the right steps, we can navigate these changes, find deeper meaning in the life-changing event, and come out stronger on the other side.
Here are 10 tips to help you navigate these challenging times.
- Change Your Thoughts
When your circumstances have changed, and you’re faced with the task of adaptation, one of the best things that you can do to cope is to accept that the event happened, acknowledge that your circumstances are the way they are and can’t be changed, and commit to changing your thoughts, instead. Because we do get a choice of what we think. If you are only focused on the negative aspects of your situation, your brain will automatically seek out evidence to support your thoughts, dismissing any positive or beneficial aspects of the situation. If you don’t want to be stuck in a negative mindset, you have to make an effort to change how you think.
- Be Curious
Life-changing events often catch us off guard and can leave us feeling lost and uncertain of how to navigate the unfamiliar territory ahead. When it comes to managing these events, especially in the context of our marriages, being curious can be an incredibly valuable tool. Asking questions, seeking out different perspectives, and exploring all available options can help us gain a better understanding of our situation and equip us with the knowledge needed to make informed decisions. Curiosity also allows us to approach these challenges with a sense of openness and enthusiasm rather than fear and resistance. By embracing curiosity in the face of life-changing events, we can not only manage the present situation but also set ourselves up for a brighter future.
- Look For The Positive
When you notice that your thoughts are drifting to what is wrong with your circumstances, stop yourself and look for the positives. Eventually, your brain will get used to living in a positive mindset and will seek out evidence of all the great things going on in your life. Likewise, when your thoughts are more positive, your actions become more positive, creating a self-perpetuating cycle. This will ultimately create more resilience, so when the inevitable negative event happens, you are better prepared to handle it.
- Slow Down
Life can be hectic, especially when there’s a big change happening. It’s easy to get caught up in the chaos and feel like you have to do everything at once. But sometimes, it’s better to slow down and focus on the things that matter most. When it comes to managing a life-changing event, like a major illness or a sudden loss, taking care of yourself and your relationships is crucial. For couples, this might mean prioritizing quality time together and letting go of the small stuff. By focusing on what’s truly important, you can support each other through the toughest of times and come out stronger on the other side.
- Get Some Exercise
Getting some physical activity, even just going for a walk, can be a great way to clear your mind and reduce stress. When we exercise, our bodies release endorphins which improve our mood and boost our energy levels. This can be incredibly helpful when you’re dealing with the ups and downs of a big life change. Plus, exercise can be a great way to bond with your partner. Whether it’s taking a yoga class together or going for a stroll, exercising as a couple can help you feel more connected and supported during this difficult time.
- Sleep Well
When it comes to a major life event, it’s important to be proactive about managing the stress that comes along with it. One way to do that? Make sure you’re getting enough sleep. It’s no secret that when you’re well-rested, you’re better equipped to handle whatever life throws your way. And when it comes to navigating a significant life event, getting enough shut-eye is even more crucial. After all, having a supportive partner can be a major source of strength during tough times, but it’s much harder to provide that support when you’re feeling exhausted and overwhelmed. So do yourself and your loved one a favour: prioritize rest, and you’ll both be better equipped to take on whatever the future holds.
Yes – now is the time to buy the journal and get writing. Writing down your thoughts and feelings can help you process the emotions and make sense of what’s happening. By taking the time to write your story and reflect on your experiences, you may gain new insight into yourself, the event, and your relationships. It allows you to step back from the situation, view it as an outsider, and see things more clearly. Likewise, it can be a cathartic way to work through any conflicts or uncertainties you may have. Plus, you’ll have a personal record of your transformation and how far you’ve come.
- Change Your Words
Have you ever stopped to think about the power of your words? It’s amazing how they can affect our emotions, our behaviour, and even the way we perceive reality. This is especially true when it comes to stressful life-changing events. If you constantly speak negativity and doubt into your life, your brain will internalize that and believe it to be true. However, if you choose to speak positivity and hope, your brain will follow suit and believe it to be true as well. So remember, in times of stress and uncertainty, watch what you say. Instead of speaking death, speak life and watch as your perspective and circumstances begin to change for the better.
- Use Your Support Network
You don’t have to face these challenges alone. Utilizing your support network and leaning on your relationships can be a tremendous help. Whether it’s a friend who’s always willing to listen, a family member who can offer practical advice, or a coach who can provide professional guidance, reaching out to those around you can provide the support and understanding you need. By sharing your thoughts and feelings with others, you may even gain new insights into your situation and find new coping mechanisms that you wouldn’t have discovered on your own. Remember that asking for help is a sign of strength and that there are people in your life who care about you and want to help you through difficult times.
- Surrender To God
When you turn to God and surrender to Him, you take an enormous weight off your shoulders. You feel at peace knowing that God is in control and that He will take care of everything according to His plan. But surrender isn’t all; it’s also essential to pray consistently, as it helps you focus, clears your mind, puts things into perspective, and strengthens your relationship with God and your faith. Prayer isn’t only a solo activity; when you pray with your spouse, you both become united in your faith journey, and you can trust that God is leading you through the storm.
Whether they are good or bad, life-changing events can build strength and resilience in ourselves and our marriages. However, it’s essential to actively manage the stress of these events to protect our wellness and the wellness of our marriage. By committing to small actions, you can create meaning out of these events and face them with grace and strength. It’s easy to get caught up in the hustle and bustle of life, especially when going through a life-altering event, but take a step back and do what you and your marriage need to tackle this event the best that you can. No matter what happens, remember that you are not alone, and with the right tools and support, you can manage the stress of these life-changing events, find meaning in the situation, and create a stronger, more resilient marriage.