news&views Spring 2022 | Page 50

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Sarah Mortimer | Manager , Marketing , Inkblot Therapy

How Therapy Can Prepare You for Life ’ s Next Chapter

If there ’ s one thing that ’ s constant in life , it ’ s change , and learning how to embrace it isn ’ t always easy . Whether it ’ s retiring from your job , ending a relationship , or moving across the country , big life changes can feel overwhelming and sometimes lead to mental health challenges .
“ Some people love change , but most struggle in some way with it ,” says Shana Prisloo , a psychotherapist and Senior Clinical Manager at Inkblot Therapy , an online therapy platform . “ It ’ s normal to experience heightened anxiety , depression , or even grief when going through a big life transition .”
Yet , embarking on a new life chapter doesn ’ t always have to feel hard . Prisloo says therapy can help us manage our emotions and embrace the positive aspects of change : “ Transitions represent an opportunity for us to think about what it is we really want in our lives , what isn ’ t working , and challenge ourselves to grow . Therapy can help us reflect on our experience , learn healthy ways to cope with emotions , and identify future goals .”
Prisloo gave us some more advice on navigating transitions , setting goals , and making the most of our days ahead .
Why do big life changes — even exciting ones — often feel really difficult ?
Even changes that we look forward to can create a great deal of stress . Humans find comfort in the status quo . We may fear impending change , make assumptions about how it will turn out , or see it as one big event rather than a gradual process . This can lead to feeling overwhelmed and stressed , activating the fight , flight , or freeze response in our brains . This is when mental health issues can surface .
Some people experience heightened anxiety or depression as a result of change . You could have a racing heart , clammy hands , or even a fullblown panic attack . Therapy teaches us that these responses are not uncommon and that we can manage them .
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