How Constant Transitions In Our Life May Impact Stress Levels
According to the book Transitions, by Dr. William Bridges, the pace of American life has sped up greatly, causing us to experience more personal transitions than ever.
We think of changes in our relationships, jobs, homes, and more as just changes. They are actually transitions. A transition consists of (1) an ending, (2) a neutral zone, and (3) a new beginning. We are constantly transitioning and we often don’t process the endings and beginnings of transitions well.
The number of transitions in our lives at any given time and how we deal with them may cause us unidentified stress.
Categories of transitions
Changes in relationships:
- Friendships, work relationships, marital relationships
- Children leaving home
- Death of a pet
- Death of loved one
Changes in home life:
- Moving in with someone
- Having a baby
- Moving houses/neighborhoods
- Remodeling home
- Getting ill or well again
- Experiencing success or failure
- Change in eating habits/fitness habits
- Starting/finishing a class
Work and financial changes
- Changing jobs
- Increase/decrease in hours or income
- Psychological insights/spiritual awakening
- Discovery of a new dream
- Political awareness
You may not recognize the number of transitions you are experiencing
We move from one thing to the next, as do our kids, families, and friends.
However, the number of transitions can cause stress that we are unaware of. Because stress can impact health, Dr. Thomas Holmes and Richard Rahe developed a self-test to evalutate the changes a person has recently experienced and how it correlates to health risks.
You can find the self-test here https://www.mindtools.com/pages/article/newTCS_82.htm
Of course, there are several variables that affect stress and health but you might be surprised how many categories you are experiencing transitions in. If nothing else, it cues you to pay attention to how you are processing the transitions in your life.
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