top of page

How to deal with big changes in your life

Big changes can come into our life almost unexpectedly. Here you can learn some techniques that will help you cope.

I recently had a visit to the ER that turned into an emergency surgery. While I did not plan to stay in the hospital for 7 days and take 2 weeks off for recovery, I was lucky enough to have insurance and a job waiting for me at the end of my ordeal.

Not everyone has the same luck and I would like to share with you my latest reading, bestseller "Option B" by Sheryl Sandberg and Adam Grant.

In this book, Sheryl (who is currently the Chief Operating Officer for Facebook) describes her grief after her husband's death and how even having financial stability wasn't enough for her. She described how the discernment of how the 3 p's of grief affected her life, was a key factor to help her endure the emotional pain that followed her husband's death. The 3 p's of grief stand for personalization, pervasiveness, and permanence. Personalization refers to self-blame for what had happened. The way Sandberg described it is: "This is the lesson that not everything that happens to us happens because of us". In many cases, our brain tries to find a logical explanation for the unexpected and we tend to blame ourselves as a coping mechanism to deal with the pain. Unfortunately, this distorted perception leads us to remain sad and depressed and keeps us from normal functioning. Pervasiveness refers to the perception that one negative event translates into every other area of your life. For example, you may have hospital bills to pay and the worry won't leave your mind when you're at work or putting your kids to sleep. As Sandberg portrays it, those times when she was able to fully engage in a business discussion, were the only times she was able to briefly forget about her grief. Keeping ourselves busy can help to alleviate the pain, but not so much that we forget to address our emotions later. Here is where Permanence appears as if the pain will never end, but the more one accepts the pain and the emotions around it, the easier it becomes to overcome it.

In Dialectical Behavior Therapy, there is a term called "Radical Acceptance" which Marsha Linehan defines as completely accepting emotions in your mind, body, and your heart. As Linehan states it: "It’s when you stop fighting reality, stop throwing tantrums because reality is not the way you want it, and let go of bitterness."

I hope this information can be of help to help you cope with big changes. To learn more about Radical Acceptance, please review the following link:

bottom of page