Harnessing Major Transitions to Create Positive Life Changes

As much as we fear and avoid change, it’s inevitable for all of us. Throughout our lives, we each will face many different transitional moments. From moving to getting married, from starting a new job to having children, from chronic illness to divorce, there are countless major transitions you might face during your lifetime. The beauty is that you can harness major life transitions as a way to transform your life for the better by replacing bad habits with positive ones.

Here are some tips for doing just that.

Make Healthier Choices

From a breakup to a chronic illness diagnosis, major life transitions can be the perfect jumping point for getting healthier and happier. While it isn’t easy to change old habits, transition can be a powerful motivating factor. Once you decide to start making healthier life choices, Harvard Health recommends setting specific, measurable goals and creating a plan for how you’ll achieve them. Be sure your plan includes little ways you’ll reward yourself for following through, whether that might be a shopping spree or a relaxing bubble bath.

Reduce Stress

Although major life transitions can sometimes be a source of stress, even if it’s a good type of stress, they can also become opportunities to help reduce stress in the long term. For instance, moving into a new home can be one of life’s most stressful events. However, it can also be an opportunity to bring a sense of calm into your living situation by downsizing and decluttering.

Decluttering can improve your life and bring about a sense of satisfaction and accomplishment. While it’s natural for people to develop emotional attachments to their belongings, having too many things is actually detrimental to our health. In fact, studies have shown something called the “clutter effect,” where unnecessary clutter in your home can literally have a negative impact on your level of stress, as well as your mental health, cognition, and overall well-being.

You can start decluttering your home by getting rid of unused items and moving any items that you rarely use into storage. Although storage unit prices vary, they are relatively affordable, especially if you’re only storing some (but not all) of your belongings.

Eliminate Toxic Relationships

Romantic breakups also rank among life’s most common stressors. While going through a breakup is difficult, painful, and rarely (if ever) easy, that doesn’t mean you can’t turn this negative situation into a positive life change. For example, if you know that your former partner and their friends were no good for you, then you could use the breakup as an opportunity to eliminate toxic relationships from your life.

According to Prevention Magazine, “toxic people come in all flavors,” and there’s a good chance we all have at least one or two in our lives at some point. Examples could be people with narcissistic personality disorder, the drama queen who drains your energy, or the jealous coworker who tries to sabotage your success or undermine your work. The list goes on and on.

Whether you’re trying to rid yourself of clutter, stress, or toxic relationships, there are a few things you can do right now to start working towards a healthier, happier, more positive lifestyle. First, take an honest inventory of your life at this very moment. Identify what needs to change.

Second, create your plan of action. What’s within your control and what steps can you take to start making changes? How will you reward yourself for your accomplishments? Finally, decide what your boundaries will be and how you’ll enforce them. This helps you surround yourself with supportive people who believe in the positive changes you’re trying to make — and helps you not get sidetracked by anyone who tries to talk you out of changing your life. After all, life is too short, and you’ve only got this one precious life to live.

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