I have learned a lot throughout this thing called life, and I ain’t done with the learning process either. I am thankful for all the curve balls thrown my way and ready for more to come. Not everything that happens in your life will be considered positive and exciting. There will be things you won’t see coming. We will face challenges and situations that test our maturity level, mental state, and coping skills. No one should ever expect to have a 100% stress-free life. When these things occur, it is up to you to face the music and make decisions or choices that will benefit you and your family in the long run. The longer you run away from challenges in your life, the worse it gets. That’s when it’s so important to learn how to cope with sudden changes.
We damn sure should always expect changes in our life. How you cope with change relies upon your maturity level. As you get older, you will realize some things don’t work for you anymore. You will have to begin thinking about your future, career, finances, family, and anything else that arises as you age. You can no longer run from what’s written in your book of life. Let’s take me as an example. I did just about everything for my daughter. When I think about it, I never made her cook, allowed her to hang out with friends, or let alone make mistakes as a child would. Guess what? Because I sheltered her most of her life, she is now facing the reality of becoming self-sufficient at age 26!!!! Yes, I never allowed her to deal with the harsh realities of life. I didn’t allow her to make mistakes or fail until she became a young adult. I did everything for her, so what did I expect!! Now she is just beginning to find herself and trying to figure things out at a later age. Because I was too afraid to allow her to be who she wanted to be, I screwed up her maturity level. She can’t handle certain things because she can’t deal with change or the fear of messing up. But isn’t that life?
Countless adults were sheltered as a child, therefore making it difficult for them to make wise decisions. They would avoid the inevitable until it hits them in the face. They took for granted that they will one day have to be self-sufficient and accountable for their decision of not facing life head-on. They would rather live in a “child-like” world with less responsibility than seeing it for what it is.
We all know a few grown-ups that live with their healthy parents. Those same healthy parents are paying their healthy adult child’s bills. They have blocked them from learning how to pay bills, write checks, become financially literate and stable, maintain an automobile, take care of life experiences in a mature manner, and just being productive people in life. Many dependent adults find themselves unable to cope with life changes when they suddenly have to deal with reality. They are unable to use their critical-thinking skills or common sense. The sense of entitlement kicks in, and they continue to feel that others should pick up the slack or do it for them (since coping with the changes is out of the question). But isn’t this what life is? Didn’t we all have to face things head-on and deal with it eventually?
Remember, not all stress is bad. There are stresses in life that will motivate you to do better and be better. I learned to back away from things and situations that will bring me unnecessary stress. When I feel that it is taking away from my peace and rest, I back off. I already know I will have personal stressors along the way, but I’m not trying to take on someone else’s too. When others try to put their life stresses on you and are not prepared or even willing to listen to advice, you need to back away and let them learn on their own time. You can lead a horse to the water, but you can’t make the horse drink it. That goes for adults as well. You can give as much sound advice or help, but if they aren’t willing to help themselves or deal with the hard work and dedication it takes to overcome any situation, let it go. That’s the life lesson they will have to travel alone.
If you realize you are on the verge of breaking down, it’s time to seek professional help. Denial and avoidance are the number one causes of stress and anxiety. It does nothing but makes things worse. The more you try to avoid life stresses; the more it persists. According to Elizabeth Scott’s article in Verywell mind (2019), there are many ways in which avoidance behaviors magnify stress:
- They don’t actually solve the problem that causes stress, so they are less effective than more proactive strategies that may minimize stress in the future.
- Avoidance may allow problems to grow.
- Avoidance may also be frustrating to others, so habitually using avoidance strategies may create conflict in relationships and minimize social support.
- Avoidance approaches can create more anxiety much of the time.
We all will have obstacles along the way. No one will be immune to stressors. It is all about how you deal and learn from what life throws at you.