How To Deal With An Unexpected Life Change, According To Psychologists

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Sometimes life is unpredictable — and if you're dealing with an unexpected life change, you may find it difficult to cope. "Sometimes tough times will be triggered by a singular event which comes on suddenly and acutely — like a diagnosis, a natural disaster, a national tragedy, a breakup with your partner, betrayal by your sister, or the death of your pet," Annie Wright, a marriage and family therapist at Evergreen Counseling in California, tells Bustle. Big events have a way of sweeping us off our feet, and it can be difficult to know how to deal with them in the moment, and as you move forward.

If you feel a sense of numbness or disconnection when the event happens, that's very natural, Heidi McBain, a professional counselor and marriage and family therapist in Texas, tells Bustle. "Unexpected major life changes often start with feelings of shock and disbelief," she says. "People often feel a sense of numbness." Even if the major change seems positive — perhaps you come into a big sum of money, or fall suddenly in love — you can still experience confusion and emotional disconnection. Here's how to cope with unexpected life events in ways that will keep you grounded.