Ever find yourself “in-process” without really understanding it?
Ever wonder how you get to a point where you don’t know exactly what to do next, but you hope and believe it is going to be ok? Optimism can be a facilitator, but a more hands-on approach strategy can prove to be wiser in the long term.
We all go through change, which means that any event is capable of disturbing our lives and have a significant impact on our stress levels, and consequently, on our well-being. Changes, whether positive or negative, are always a source of stress. Yet, across the lifespan, individuals will go through several Life Events and a few Transitions.
Life Events are situational shifts that require between 3 to 6 months for the individual to adjust and adapt to the new situation - #change. See four groups of Life-Events capable of bringing significant change to a person's life:
Family-related includes marriage, divorce, living together, changing houses, bereavement, childbirth.
Work-related, comprises new career, changing jobs, unemployment, reemployment, retirement, relocation/migration, career change, and more.
Health-related events include any physical illness or sudden disability, even becoming a carer.
Non-events are the life events that should have happened at a certain age or stage but did not (e.g. marriage, children, etc.).
Most recently, #COVID-19 has induced an array of unexpected changes, so it is natural you have experienced some of those Life Events and feeling more stress than before. Is this right?
However, 'changes' are actually a process. When the individual perceives their life events as highly stressful, those changes might lead them to a transition. A Transition is the result of significant changes, to the individual, in relationships, routines, assumptions, and roles as a consequence of a stressful life change (life event or non-event), which leads to personal discontinuity and identity change. Metaphorically, a transition could describe the process of letting go of the way life used to be, to then start a journey to create a new identity and a life. It follows its own pace and is a continual process over time, that can take months or even years to complete. In brief, a life event occurs, then a transition takes place.
Life events presume changes and stress as much as transitions do, but since transitions imply a far deeper psychological process, they can be more dangerous to one’s well-being and mental health in the long run. Either way, those are both studied as a natural part of human beings life course and represent each an opportunity for psychological growth or the risk of psychological declines, so it is safe to say we could all use a little support in the process. Would you not agree? Imagine the consequences and impact of such an experience all alone.
Psychological Declines include stress, anxiety, depression, cognitive impairments, poor cognitive performance and emotional distress.
The way we process change is the way we grow, it is what makes us unique and enables us to stand out, allowing us to better adapt in an ever-shifting world, not just surviving the fight, but maintaining the strength and balance so we don’t lose ourselves along the way. Bear in mind, change does not always mean development, as this implies notions of self-improvement, such as the fully functioning person, as a process over time. Thus additionally to professional support, a growth mindset comes in handy as a personal characteristic in managing life changes.
Changes are classified as a type of stressor. Regardless, the dimensions of stress or the types of stressors that contribute as a risk factor predisposing the individual to psychological illness, are yet unknown. Nevertheless, stress is a Public Health challenge that has been recognized worldwide by the World Health Organisation. More than merely a personal issue, stress and the mental health of employees can negatively affect the company and society as a whole. From decreased job performance and productivity to a breakdown in daily functions, absenteeism and presenteeism. Also, on a larger scale, it impacts health care costs and social welfare costs in the form of disability benefit payments’ increase. Therefore, supporting people to improve their skills and knowledge to manage stress during change, is vital to growth and success.
Nowadays, two major stressors are easily identified as bringing immediate significant changes to a person's life. First, the workplace goes hand-in-hand with the most significant stressors in people's lives. For instance, "In 2019/20 stress, depression or anxiety accounted for 51% of all work-related ill health cases and 55% of all working days lost due to work-related ill health." (Health & Safety Executive report "Work-related stress, anxiety or depression statistics in Great Britain, 2020"). Second, the notable disruption prompted by COVID-19, billions of people worldwide facing stressful changes or prevented from experiencing some life changes due to lockdown restrictions. In the UK alone, the Office for National Statistics reported nearly half of the adults (46.9%) experiencing high levels of anxiety, and 53.1% said it was directly affecting their well-being.
The Hard Truth? Nobody knows just how much changes are going to impact because that depends on several factors. For instance, does the individual has a reliable support network and solid professional support? What are their unique traits and previous experience with change? Do they have a growth mindset? What are their skills to manage intense stress? But we must take responsibility for it. We are the ones in charge of development and of supporting Psychological Growth to prevent Psychological Declines.
Now that you know all this about the meaning of change, transitions, and the risks of Psychological Declines, we ask you, Can you really sit through change?
believe-IN is concerned with facilitating, preventing and promoting change to prevent psychological declines for optimal human functioning. We offer Change and Transitions Intervention Programmes, Appointments, Psychometric Tests and Learning Events.
Have you been looking for a solution that enables change and prevents stress? Contact believe-IN we have a personalised solution to your challenges. Check below the three options we have to support you in your change process and choose yours.
We work with both individuals and organisations, online, in English, Portuguese and Spanish, worldwide. The first step is for you to arrange your free initial 30-min consultation appointment and find out how we can support you. Go to www.believein.uk/bookings or e-mail us at email@example.com
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