As children, we are constantly rethinking the world around us as we process new information and use our imaginations, but as adults, many of us become much more set in our ways and our interpretations of society. How often do you reflect on yourself and your role in the world? Becoming more self-aware can help you process complex emotions surrounding your own life and decipher the part you play in these occurrences.
Furthermore, improved self-awareness has been shown to boost productivity, reduce the risk of burnout, improve mental health, promote confidence, and increase life satisfaction. In other words, self-awareness improves your ability to process and respond to everything that happens around you on a daily basis. Becoming more self-aware is not always an easy task, but today we’re bringing you five strategies to help you on your journey.
- Be still and listen. After a long workday, many of us instinctively put on the tv or read a book to disconnect and relax, but when we spend the entire day taking in external stimuli, we rarely get a chance to sit with our own thoughts. Start by taking five minutes each day to sit with your body and mind and reflect on how you feel internally and externally. Yoga, meditation, and long walks are great vehicles for this practice, but no podcasts or audiobooks allowed!
- Take a personality test. Personality tests like Myers-Briggs or introvert/extrovert quizzes can be a fun way to dive deeper into your personal tendencies. The results will not necessarily give you any concrete answers about your behavior, but the questions they provide can help open up a self-reflection dialogue.
- Figure out your love language. Much like personality tests, the five love languages: physical touch, words of affirmation, acts of service, gift-giving, and quality time can help us unpack what we value in our relationships with others. Understanding how you express and receive love will help you pursue healthier relationships and find coping mechanisms.
- Journal. Journaling takes your meditation practice one step further and can help you go back and reflect on your self-awareness progress. Writing down things that happen and how they make you feel will help you uncover details about who you are as a person and can even help you better manage future challenges. Just start writing and see where it takes you.
- Consider therapy. Breaking past the narratives we tell ourselves and digging into the events in our lives that made us the way we are is no easy task. More self-awareness often comes with new challenges to unpack and discussion of difficult topics. If you’re struggling to find self-awareness or the practice brings up thoughts that are hard to navigate, speaking with a licensed therapist can make a world of difference in processing these emotions.
The saying goes that we are our own harshest critic, but we can also be our own greatest deceiver. Self-awareness will help you better adjust to unforeseen circumstances, form stronger relationships with others, and even learn to love yourself more. As an added bonus, learning about yourself can even be fun!