Are you in transition?
Every transition comes with emotions. Difficult emotions can be throwing you back on old mental patterns and positive emotions can kick you off with new gained energy. Well, this is how I experienced the transitions in my life and believe me, there were many.
Sometimes it is difficult to focus on your life when you are in transition. A change can be exiting and overwhelming the same time. But beneath all that there can be underlying anxiety arising from the feeling of having lost control and the desire of letting it go. Fear of the unknown versus excitement for the new step.
How can we deal with this ambiguity?
Journaling can serve to heal negative feelings arising. Putting our feelings into words was found by UCLA psychologists to make feelings of sadness, anger and pain less intense.
It reduces anxiety. It inspires altruism. Journaling can help you to sleep better.
I experienced that journaling your emotions can even give you more headspace to cope with changes in your life.
When you are facing transition, try these three steps to get whatever cycles around your head a place to stay.
1) Give your emotions a place to stay
Write everything down what bothers you or occupies your headspace. Set a timer for 5 minutes for not to be drawn into worries. Try not to judge yourself or your situation. Our brain function in a way, that its constantly searching for a solution. It is looking to close “loops” in your thoughts. Bringing your thoughts on paper can already serve to close these loops so the thoughts stop cycling around and you are able to get clear on your emotions.
2) Focus on the here and now
In can be hard to stay in the presence and not worry about the next thing already. But constantly jumping into the (unknown) future with your thinking can make you restless and stressed. Stress does not exist in the here and now and when you are focused on what matters now. If you find it difficult to focus and to stay present, answer and write down the following questions:
- Where are you right now physically? Describe your environment
- What do you feel in your body? Is in tension, stress or relaxation? Try to touch this places where the emotions come from; this will give your brain an impulse to recognize and let it go.
3) Reflect on the situation
In transition we always go from something old to something new. But the path is often unknown and the piece “ in between” feels missing. Journaling can be the bridge in this gap, what is often filled with (difficult) emotions about the unknown.
Journaling can give us clarity and space on the journey we are in.
If you don’t know what to reflect on, as you might feel blocked in some moments of transitioning, try these prompts:
-What are you saying goodbye to at the moment?
- What are you welcoming in your life right now?
- What was true yesterday and still will be true for you tomorrow?
- What do you want to focus on moving forward?
These journaling steps will help you to unlock your brain. Imagining your future will help you to stay on track and be mentally well during times of transition.
What is something you would like to share with a friend about the transition you are in?
Sharing brings it outside your head and opens up the possibility to reflect on it too.
Transition is in your journey and being aware of it and present will most probably lead you to the transformation you desire.