Coping With Upcoming Life Transitions
The prospect of moving from the familiar to the unfamiliar, which is what all life transitions entail, produces existential anxiety. Whether the change is desirable or undesirable, freely decided upon or forced, the threat of nothingness that is existential anxiety will be lurking underneath.
A lot of strange behaviors, like outbursts of anger, terrifying dreams, nervousness, agitation, bouts of sadness, and intense emotional swings, are visible symptoms of that underlying existential anxiety. People usually don’t make the conscious connection for themselves between these behaviors and the upcoming life transition though. This is because they shy away from awareness of the existential anxiety that is the root of it all.
Consciously they’ll believe that they’re coping with upcoming life transitions pretty well, especially when the change is desired and freely chosen. They’ll find rationalizations for their strange behavior or project the blame for it onto other people. These coping mechanisms are predictable. How are you going to trace the symptoms back to the source when your are unwilling and unable to see the source?
Simply shining the light of mindfulness on the existential anxiety produced by the fact that circumstances are about to change is a good way to eradicate a lot of the strange behaviors that tend to cause interpersonal problems, since those behaviors become superfluous when their source is directly confronted.