Self Help

Five Tips to Deal with Turning Points in Life

Ups and Downs

Life is full of uncertainty and challenges. Time throws various obstacles and disturbs the trajectory of life. As put by Wheaton and Gotlib (2009), the continuation of a direction is called a trajectory. It is the result of all the forces working together to move us in the direction of our objective. A deviation in the trajectory or course is what is known as a turning point. It alters the direction of a trajectory. Some of the common turning points in life can be changes in relationships, navigating a career path, moving to a new place, facing the loss of a loved one, surviving mental health issues or physical illnesses, etc. 

Dealing with critical life situations can be incredibly difficult, but adopting some measures can prove to be effective while navigating the complexities. Taking care of one’s overall well-being, especially during such times can contribute to leading a more balanced and healthier lifestyle. To deal with turning points in life, one can consider the following-


Writing is an incredible approach to express the suppressed thoughts that are buried deep down inside and one might not share openly. Allowing oneself to feel and validate those feelings is very crucial for emotional well-being. A journaling intervention by Kow et al., (2023) on adolescents with Cystic Fibrosis, showed considerable improvement in feelings of anxiety and depression arising due to the prevailing physical condition. During a turning point such as the loss of a loved one, individuals often experience a whirlwind of emotions.

Journaling can serve as a powerful tool for processing these complex emotions. For instance, after the loss of a friend, a person might turn to journal to express their feelings of loss, share memories of their loved one, and reflect on the impact of the loss on their life. By putting their thoughts and emotions onto paper, they can honor their loved one’s memory, gain clarity about their own emotions, and find solace in the act of self-expression. Over time, journaling can help find meaning and healing in the midst of grief, allowing them to gradually adjust to their new reality and move forward with resilience.

Practice Mindfulness

Mindfulness involves paying attention to the present moment, allowing individuals to develop awareness and acceptance of their experiences. Inculcating mindfulness activities in our daily lives can help mitigate ongoing stress. According to the “Mindfulness- To- Meaning Theory” by Garland et al., (2015), practicing mindfulness widens one’s awareness spectrum. It paves the way to a cognitive reappraisal of events that let us consider the positive aspects of particular situations. This allows one to understand the significance and meaning of life’s experiences. The cumulative effects of meaningful positive experiences bring about eudaimonic well-being. As part of mindfulness exercise, one can include deep breathing techniques, guided meditation and yoga on a daily basis to regulate their mental and physical health. 

Physical Activity

A healthy body can make a better space for a healthy mind. While not directly helping with critical life situations, regular physical activity offers a number of benefits for mental and emotional well-being. Exercise releases endorphins, which can help individuals better cope with stress, anxiety and depression, which can be a common experience during difficult times. Additionally, physical activity often provides a healthy distraction, allowing people to focus on the present moment and regain a sense of control in their lives. Other than this, social interaction during exercise can offer support and motivation, while improved cognitive function has proven to improve problem-solving skills and resilience. Overall, physical activity is an effective way for promoting overall well-being and resilience during turning points in life.

Reaching out to a Support System

A network of reliable individuals, such as family members, close friends, and significant others, makes up a support system. A study conducted in 2023 by Khalid et al. underlined the value of social support for Malaysian university students. Having a solid support network to lean on during difficult times is crucial.  None of us have to deal with distressing things alone. Whether it’s seeking advice from a trusted friend or confiding in a family member, reaching out to others can provide valuable perspective and emotional support during difficult times. For example, moving to a new city can be daunting, but reaching out to friends, family, or local support groups can provide a much-needed sense of community and belonging during such a period. 

Professional Help

The growing difficulties of modern life make it difficult to prioritize oneself. Everyone is a part of the rat race and people rarely ever have any time for themselves. Mental health is an important concern. Seeking professional help is advisable if other measures prove ineffective at addressing challenges adequately. Reaching out to a trained professional helps in understanding the problems and providing effective strategies to cope with the growing challenges. Seeking help is not a sign of weakness, but that of strength. As shared by Dr. Judith Orloff, a well-known psychiatrist, “seeking professional help is a powerful act of self-care and self-love. It’s about honoring yourself enough to recognize when you need support & taking proactive steps to heal and grow.”

The harsh reality is that life problems cannot be gotten rid off, but the stress that results from it is manageable to a great extent. True strength lies in the ability to stand firm amidst hardships and finding active solutions to address distress. Every turning point presents an opportunity to grow, learn, and become stronger than before. By embracing change and facing challenges with courage and resilience, we can cultivate a life that is rich in meaning, purpose, and fulfillment.

References +
  • Depression and anxiety: Exercise eases symptoms. (2023, December 23). Mayo Clinic. 
  • Garland, E. L., Farb, N. A., R. Goldin, P., & Fredrickson, B. L. (2015). Mindfulness Broadens Awareness and Builds Eudaimonic Meaning: A Process Model of Mindful Positive Emotion Regulation. Psychological Inquiry, 26(4), 293–314. 
  • Kow, Sean & Rieger, Brenda & Morse, Kimberly & Keens, Thomas & Wu, Susan. (2023). The Positive Impact of Journaling on Adolescents with Cystic Fibrosis. 10.22541/au.168615010.05553489/v1.
  • Wheaton, B., & Gotlib, I. H. (1997). Trajectories and turning points over the life course: concepts and themes. In I. H. Gotlib & B. Wheaton (Eds.), Stress and Adversity over the Life Course: Trajectories and Turning Points (pp. 1–26). chapter, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Exit mobile version