There are periods in life that are very stressful because they are marked by a new phase in life or transition. Uncertainty, confusion, happiness, excitement, ambivalence, and anxiety are some of the feelings that may accompany life transitions. Even positive events can be stressors.
Common life transitions include:
- Changing schools
- Graduating from High school, College, Graduate School
- Getting engaged, married, entering a new relationship
- Pregnancy and parenthood
- Moving to a new location or home
- Establishing or changing careers
- Preparing for retirement
It can be helpful to seek therapy when life transitions become overwhelming or complicated by guilt, the inability to move forward, depression, anxiety, or general confusion around what direction to take. It can be comforting to explore your feelings thoroughly as well as any barriers to happiness at this time in your life.
Life transitions can go hand in hand with uncertainty about life purpose and direction.
Life Purpose and Direction
People who are not certain about their purpose in life may feel lost, stuck, and confused.
Life purpose and direction may be a concern for you if you:
- Spend a great deal of time soul searching
- Jump into decisions
- Feel overwhelmed about “knowing” what to do
- Feel there are absolutes (black or white thinking, one right way to do things)
- Have difficulty taking healthy risks or take risks without much thought
- Paralyzed with indecision
- Are unpredictable
- Have a pattern of deep regret about past decisions
You may reflect on areas of life such as career decisions, relationship/ family choices, and lifestyle changes. There are times that you may wonder if the way you are living your life represents who you truly are and your values. The desire for life fulfillment and questions about the meaning of life can also surface and may be explored.