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If you strive to live a healthier life to meet your full potential you will need to develop the ability to being self-aware. Let's start with what self-awareness means. It means having a deep understanding of your values, strengths, weaknesses and habits Becoming self aware will help you understand why you feel the way you do and make decisions that respect your individual needs. This can include personal goals, boundaries, and relationships. Becoming self-aware is a skill learned over time. It is not easy, so if you're looking for this to be pretty it won't be.
Make the decision to understand yourself and your habits.
Being self aware about the day to day decisions we make help us to ensure that we are creating positive habits for ourselves. By doing this we protect ourselves from self sabotage and negative behaviors. It is important that we take time to reflect on the desires we have and (even the small) daily decisions we make. Next time you are considering doing something like watching Netflix instead of completing a project, ask yourself if it is truly serving your needs. It might be, and that’s okay too! Try to actively participate in your choices and not auto-pilot through day to day life. Seriously, self reflect in these moments, or document yourself....study yourself. There is an endless supply of books in the "self help" genre on Amazon, which makes it easier for resource during your growth journey.
Acknowledge your feelings.
Allow yourself to feel and don't justify to fit the needs of others. Embrace your feelings. Many times, we choose to suppress how we fell in order to benefit others or because we don’t trust ourselves or have the self confidence. Understand that there is always a reason why you feel the way you do. You are not crazy, irrational or unworthy for having feelings. This does not mean that you have to tell everyone about your feelings every time. A helpful technique for expressing feeling, and avoiding confrontation is to write them down (and then burn the note). Simply allowing yourself to feel and acknowledging your feelings can go a long way to improving your self awareness.
Going hand-in hand with acknowledging your feelings, being self aware means you are aware of how to handle those emotions too. Extending the same amount of grace that you desire, should be done for others too. Allowing yourself to truly feel your emotions along with trying to change your perspective to someone else's is vital to your growth.
Identifying you emotional triggers. *Trigger Warning*
Identifying your emotional triggers for negative feelings or stress is an important aspect of self awareness. By knowing how things affect you, you can be properly prepared to deal with situations that may come your way. If you have never given much thought to why you may be feeling overwhelmed, anxious or stressed identifying your triggers may help you in the long run. But this aspect of self awareness can be tricky. Just as it is important to acknowledge your feelings it is also important to understand why you feel the way you do. Though it may take time to truly identify your "triggers", start reflecting on some things that "irritate your" or people that might "bother" you. What is it, who is it, why does it? All hard things, but allowing this mindset to occur, you are creating a habit to being more in control or your emotions/responses.
It is vital to take time to reflect on your thoughts and feelings. This is one of the most effective ways to increase your self-awareness. There are many ways in which you can engage in reflection, but may people find that journaling is a helpful.
Journaling is so important to identifying how you feel. There is no right or wrong way to do it. If you know that journaling is not your thing there are other ways to effectively reflect. Set aside time in your day, morning or night, to reflect and check in with yourself about how you feel. Reflection is the main key to understanding why we feel the way we do and allows us to make decisions that suit our needs.
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