When we are self aware we are able to focus on ourselves, our needs, our emotions. Turning attention inwards allows healing to take place on a much deeper level. Understanding your behaviour, feelings, motivations, values and beliefs can help you in so many ways, allowing you to change what no longer serves you, helps you to get to the root causes of symptoms and take action accordingly.
Being self aware increases acceptance of yourself and of others by allowing you to see who you really are at your core and embrace it instead of rejecting and forcing change. Rejecting parts of yourself or seeing these parts as wrong or mistakes will be further detrimental to your health. Embracing who you are regardless of failures will increase self-love, self-worth and self-healing and being more accepting of others will better your relationships.
A big part of our healing journey is learning to set boundaries, figuring out our goals and aligning with these, and being happier and more satisfied overall. To do this we must first be aware of our goals, our needs and values, and aware of how our behaviour influences our feelings. In order to set and maintain boundaries we need to feel safe doing so, having a stronger relationship with yourself and others allows you to be clear on your values and set boundaries without triggering others.
People that are more self aware have a higher mind-body connection, therefore they are more aligned with their true self, and able to regulate their moods as they have a deeper understanding of why they feel that way. Procrastination and indecisiveness are no longer an issue when you are self aware as you thoughts and feelings are not clouding your judgement.
So how do we go about becoming more self aware and reaping all of these benefits?
Pay attention! To how you react to people, actions, words, weather changes, your thoughts, Everything!
What don’t you like about that person? Is this a reflection of you? More than likely it is, seeing that can help you to work on that aspect of yourself, and help you to connect with that person differently.
How did you feel? How did you act? How can you change the feelings in order to change your actions? These are all great questions to reflect on after a particularly stressful event.
Mindfulness and meditation are amazing at increasing self awareness, being totally present in this moment and observing your thoughts, without connecting to them. Remembering that you are not your thoughts allows you to stop overthinking and dwelling on any particular thought.
Yoga, journaling, and visualisation are all really great ways to connect with yourself and increase the connection between your mind and body.
Writing is a great way to connect with yourself through reflective and expressive writing, and to connect with your creativity through creative writing.
Expressive writing is like journaling, it is therapeutic and allows for emotional processing. Thinking of a particular event, write down all your thoughts and feelings and if possible try to write down how you think other people involved may have felt. This is a really good exercise to decrease depression, stress and anxiety.
Reflective writing is used to analyse how you may act in particular situations, be open and curious about you actions and beliefs. This is used a lot to help people be more analytical and can improve relationships. Try thinking about a situation you have been in, where your behaviours and feelings have led to an increase in symptoms. How could you change your actions, what feelings exacerbated your symptoms?
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Creative writing is using your imagination much more. Poetry, short stories, novels, plays etc. really help capture meaning in a way that ordinary writing couldn’t, using metaphors, similes, imagery and descriptive writing helps to convey feelings. This is especially helpful when you find it difficult to journal or use the other types of writing. It provides a unique insight into yourself, thus increasing self awareness.
Write about anything! It can be an event in your life that has been particularly stressful or about something much less eventful. It can be about a feeling, a symptom or something random like the sky.
How do you think you would benefit from being more self aware?