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The Impact of Thoughts and Self-Care During a Life Transition

Life transitions can be daunting, often leaving us feeling like we are treading water or spinning our wheels. For others, it feels like taking a leap of faith off the cliff.



Whether these changes are self-initiated or brought on by life’s circumstances, the common thread among my clients is a desire to live with purpose and meaning. They are deeply motivated to avoid wasting time, yet they encounter a significant barrier: resistance to change.


Understanding Resistance


Resistance is a natural part of any transition. Our nervous system perceives change as a potential threat, triggering feelings of anxiety, doubt, and a lack of contentment. This discomfort is actually an indicator that it’s time to explore what’s happening in our lives, what’s working, what feels off, and what we can do differently.


Our minds are adept at convincing us that external changes will solve our internal struggles. While there is some truth to this—environmental changes can improve our circumstances—the saying “wherever you go, there you are” holds true. We bring our internal challenges with us, no matter the external conditions. True transformation requires not just a shift in our external reality, but a fundamental change in how we perceive and think about our experiences.


The Power of Our Thoughts


Our thoughts have a profound impact on our nervous system and can either exacerbate or alleviate resistance. Negative thought patterns trigger the body’s stress response, leading to increased anxiety and a heightened sense of threat. This stress response makes change feel even more daunting and reinforces our resistance.


To navigate through resistance, we must first address our physical well-being. The body is our first home, and taking care of it is the foundation for any meaningful change.


Starting with the Body


1. Physical Well-being: Prioritize movement, adequate sleep, and proper nutrition. Engage in activities that keep your body active and healthy. These practices help regulate the nervous system and prepare it to handle the stress of change.

2. Sleep: Ensure you are getting enough rest. Sleep is crucial for cognitive function and emotional regulation.


3. Nutrition: Fuel your body with nutritious foods. A balanced diet supports both physical and mental health.


4. Meaningful Connections: Engage with friends and community. Social support is a key factor in maintaining mental health and can provide the encouragement needed to face change.


Calming the Nervous System


Slowing down and calming the nervous system is essential for managing resistance. Incorporate practices such as:


  1. Slow, Deep Breaths: Breathing deeply activates the body’s relaxation response, helping to calm the mind.

  2. Journaling: Writing down your thoughts and feelings can provide clarity and reduce mental clutter.



Challenging Your Mindset


Once your physical needs are addressed and your nervous system is settled, it's time to challenge your current mindset. Reflect on what is and isn't working in your approach to the challenges you face.


  1. Overthinking: Identify if you are overthinking and getting mired in too many thoughts. This can paralyze action and perpetuate resistance.

  2. Distraction and Avoidance: Notice if you are allowing yourself to get distracted or avoiding uncomfortable tasks.


Take stock of what you can do differently, no matter how small. Taking a new approach can unlock the patterns that keep you stuck.


Embracing the Growth Mindset


Embracing a growth mindset involves being open to challenging your beliefs and anchoring into your values. It's about recognizing that personal growth often comes with discomfort, and that's okay. Start by taking small, actionable steps toward change. Each step builds momentum and gradually reduces resistance.


Remember, the journey through change begins with self-care. By nurturing your body, calming your nervous system, and challenging your mindset, you pave the way for meaningful transformation. Resistance may persist, but with intentional action and self-compassion, you can navigate through it and emerge stronger on the other side.

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