Developing self-awareness is key in developing personal wellness. We must be honest with ourselves, open to knowing we might not like what we learn about ourselves, take personal responsibility, and be ready to make some changes. How often in a day are you objective and can see a situation from more than just your side? Or even admit you may be wrong?
Some tips to enhance your self-awareness:
- Begin a daily log of your moods and behavior. A simple notebook where you write a daily situation, how stressed you felt, any other emotions you felt, what were your thoughts, how did you want to react, how did you react?
- Doing this daily helps you begin to know yourself over time. Look back over your days/weeks and seek patterns of when you feel more out-of-control, irritable, or simply were not the person you are striving to be.
- After a stressful situation occurs, whether on your own or in a relationship, even if it is done – take the time to look back and see what you could have done differently. Even if you think this was not your fault, where do you have the potential to accept any responsibility? Would a different reaction have made the situation better, even if you were right and wouldn’t have changed the outcome?
- Check in with someone you trust – someone objective! The person the situation occurred with may be objective, but maybe not. Talk to someone you trust and bounce it off of them. Ask for their honest feedback, and strive not to become defensive if you do not like the response. This is just about opening up your mind to other ideas, possibilities, and ways of thinking. It does not mean you have to take it all in, or make any changes at all if you disagree.
In most situations in life there is at least a small part where we can take some personal responsibility. Maybe in hindsight it was not such a big deal, or you could have reacted differently, or if you would have communicated more clearly it would have been different. Taking the time to understand all of the stressful situations and interactions in your life will help you begin to react with less emotion, see things more objectively as they unfold, handle situations more calmly, and help life feel smoother. This way you are less likely to get off track and get lost in negative coping strategies, which only create more stress in the end!
Self-awareness is not always easy, but it can be life changing in a very positive way!