The only constant in life is change. We’ve all heard this adage, but it’s true—and it can be scary. Humans like routine, and big changes, even welcome ones—getting pregnant or getting married, for example—can cause some kind of grief as you step away from the familiar into the unknown, says Cheryl Eckl, author of The LIGHT Process: Living on the Razor’s Edge of Change.

But since life is constantly full of these transitions, it’s in our best interest to learn how to adapt. After all, embracing change—instead of fighting it—will make you stronger. Here, eight of life’s biggest shake-ups, both happy and sad, and how to face each with poise.

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