How to Stay Present in a Season of Change
It’s official: spring is upon us. And with this “season of new beginnings” comes a renewed energy, an awakening of the ideas and tasks that may have lain dormant in the dark of winter.
But with this flurry of new activity, both at work and in our personal lives, it’s easy to be swept away by the busyness of it all, especially if we’re experiencing monumental shifts in our status quo. Worrying about the past and fixating on perceived mistakes, or resisting change for fear of what could go wrong, is all a form of “mental time travel” that keeps us from moving forward altogether.
Pausing to recognize the emotions we’re feeling in the present moment as we move through these shifts can help us connect to our intuition and break through the barriers that keep us stagnant.
The Science Behind Identifying Present-Moment Emotions
An interesting study at UCLA reinforces the idea that identifying the emotions we’re feeling in the midst of stressful situations can actually help us better manage those emotions in similar situations. Coined “affect labeling” by psychologist Matthew Lieberman, simply articulating our feelings enables us to confront and experience them in the present moment.
This connection between acknowledging our emotions and regulating emotional responses in the brain indicates that introspection can be a powerful tool to build resilience.
Using Introspection to Navigate Shifts and Uncertainty
Perhaps the most intimidating aspect of change is the uncertainty that surrounds it. Our fear of the unknown can paralyze us from taking action, especially if we resort to focusing on the worst-case scenario.
As you move through your day, tune in to how you’re feeling. Harness the power of introspection and ask yourself these simple questions as you feel stress, anxiety, or anger arise:
What am I feeling?
Why am I feeling this way?
It’s truly that simple.
And if you feel yourself caught in a series of fear-based scenarios, spiraling into what could go wrong, pause. Take a deep breath. Imagine all the ways your particular scenario could go right.
Who knows? It just might.
For an immersive experience focused on mindful movement and centering within the present moment, sign up for my upcoming workshop Slow Down + Breathe at NoDa Yoga in Charlotte.
Looking for more like this? Download my Daily Journal Prompts: Intro Guide to Reflection + Introspection and subscribe to my weekly notes.