Coping with Changes in Life


Adolescence is an exciting time in our life. Many changes occur as part of normal growth. Changes continue as you grow to be adults. You face changes not only in our physical appearance. There may also be changes in school, family and environment.

Change can be stressful

Change of any type requires adaptation. Even good changes can be stressful e.g.

  • Moving from home to go to college bring new exciting changes but also means more responsibility

Major life events will affect teenagers psychologically e.g.

  • Death of a parent or a family member
  • Parents’ divorce
  • Puberty
  • Pregnancy
  • Jail

Coping with change is never easy

It is difficult to cope with change especially when you are comfortable with the way things are. As change is a part of life you’d better be prepared to deal with it even though you may want to resist change.

Some principles for dealing with change Recognize that you are in charge.

  • As mentioned before, most of us have a natural aversion to change. You have a tendency to want to stick our heads in the sand and hope that it will go away by the time you come up for air
  • This strategy may provide short-term relief, but it never helps in the long-run
  • Denial does not make our problems disappear; instead it usually makes things worse by giving us less time to think through a reasoned response
  • It is best to face them head on when unexpected circumstances arise

Face your fears honestly.

  • Not every person has the same tolerance to risk. Some adventurous people look forward to the adventure of new situations. Others like their life exactly as it is: nice and predictable
  • It is good to develop a responsible relationship with another person like a sibling, parents or a supportive good friend
  • You could honestly discuss your fears and your aspirations
  • This person then can give you the encouragement you need to press on

Communicate, Communicate, Communicate!

  • Communication is very important during times of change
  • In order to successfully navigate through change, it is vital that you gain support from your family or circle of friends
  • You need to know how your family or friends feel about the impending transition. You need to let them know about your own thoughts and feelings about the change. You also need one another’s wisdom and ideas as you explore all of your options
  • If you are approaching a major change in your life, set aside a special time to talk through the issues with your family or friend
  • Coping with change is difficult enough when you are united; it is much harder when you are pulling in different directions

Take stock of your resources

  • Buat pertimbangan dan penilaian tentang segala sumber yang anda ada bagi membantu anda menghadapi sesuatu perubahan atau cabaran
  • A key step is to evaluate the resources you have at your disposal as you deal with the issue
  • Depending on the specific situation you are facing, relevant resources could include time, skills, money or even other people in your life that can help you through the adjustment
  • At times, change might require you to make some tough decisions, like perhaps changing your school or to give up your place in the team

Anticipate stress

  • Change is often a source of great stress
  • To make matters worse, you and your family or friends may deal with it completely differently
  • By understanding one another’s stress reactions it will enable you to work together more effectively to handle the change
  • Times of intense pressure can either pull you together as a family or friends or push you apart. Stress will come, and you need to ensure that it does not divide and conquer

Questions that may help us discover the skills you have available to help with the current crisis

  • Life-changing events cause each of us to review our priorities and our values, and adapt or change those that do not help us through the event
  • As you review a situation, you realize that one way you reacted worked better than another, and you change our strategies for coping with change
  • Outside help – reading books, talking with friends and/or consulting a professional might help
  • You learn from others new ways to act and ways not to act
  • When you watch others be successful in solving or coping with the problem, you try to model their behavior, and over time adapt it to our unique needs and style
  1. What is your usual emotional reaction to big change in your life?
    • a. Does it overwhelm you; do you tend to withdraw from others or become a social butterfly?
    • b. Do you manage to continue with your daily routine or are you so overwhelmed you can barely get out of bed?
    • c. Do you lose sleep or sleep too much?
  2. What personal values and beliefs will sustain you though a crisis?
    • a. Does a huge change shake your faith or make it stronger?
    • b. Does it make you search for answers?
  3. What coping strategies do you have to help you manage unexpected life changes?
    • a. Do you fall back into an old pattern or do you try new coping methods?
  4. What new skills can help in the future?
    • a. Are you willing to learn from our own past experiences?
Last Reviewed : 20 April 2012
Writer : Dr. Nazrila Hairizan binti Nasir
Reviewer : Dr. Hamdan Bin Buyong@Abd. Rahman