Self awareness is so crucial to our growth as human beings. I also believe that it effects the planet as a whole. Self awareness is exactly that… being aware of yourself. There are many ways to become aware of our thoughts, feelings, and actions. Often times we ride through our days completely on auto pilot. Other times we are so impulsive and act on every emotion as they happen. Here are three ways to improve your self awareness.
Journaling: Journaling is a great way to learn more about ourselves. If you haven’t already, check out my previous post about journaling. The method I use is one inspired by Tim Ferris. First thing in the morning I sit with my coffee and journal. I write down 3 things that are bothering me, 3 things I am grateful for, my 3 biggest priorities for the day, and my feelings. This doesn’t take long. The point of this journaling is to have a daily log to look back on at the end of the week to see what your patterns of behavior are. Doing this type of journaling will tune you in to what and how you feel. I recommend doing this for a month and see how much you learn about yourself.
Meditating: Meditation is another way to be aware of your thoughts and feelings. Since our thoughts are so intrusive, learning a mindfulness meditation of observation helps more in learning to be aware. We aren’t trying to control our thoughts but separate from them to observe and process. At first reliving our feelings when we try to process the thoughts is normal, but with patience and perseverance you’ll be a zen master in no time. I have found this children’s mindfulness meditation video to be extremely helpful GoZen.
Pay Attention: After we have started the practice of being more self aware, we will automatically start to pay more attention to our thoughts and emotions. We will notice what we like and dislike. What emotions come up as a result of our actions and situations. We must remember that thoughts are just that, thoughts. Even the kindest person can have murderous thoughts. Don’t judge yourself for them, instead ask yourself why you feel that angry in that situation. I suggest at the end of the day going back to your journal and writing down your thoughts, emotions, and observations for the day.
Living in a world where we have many emotions and experiences, being more aware of ourselves helps us have a little bit more control over ourselves. I can’t say that you will have ultimate self discipline right away, but I can tell you that with consistent practice you can get a lot better at understanding and ultimately accepting yourself.