No matter how old you are or how many experiences you've had, you still might not be 100 percent self-aware. While there are many factors involved in how well you know yourself (i.e. how you grew up), acknowledging your emotions is not always as easy as it sounds. But there are ways to become more self-aware that can help you in more areas of your life than you might expect.
Becoming more self-aware is incredibly important for your day-to-day life. Among other benefits, it can help you make important decisions quickly without having to second guess yourself. According to Life Hack, self-awareness is about understanding your needs, desires, and habits. By being aware of what makes you tick and how you emotionally function, you can begin to understand why you do certain things, which can also lead to improving upon possible bad habits you may want to change. While becoming more self-aware won't be a cure-all, knowing yourself as much as possible can help you make better decisions in your life, which never hurts. Here are nine ways to become more self-aware every day.
1. Write In A Journal
"Journaling can be very telling. There are many times when the act of writing something out sheds light on it in a way that thinking it does not. It enable your to think, edit, and look at something and be honest with yourself," says psychologist Nicole Martinez, Psy.D., LCPC in an interview with Bustle over email. Take a few minutes before you go to bed to jot down your thoughts from the day. It's a great way to become more self-aware when you have to discuss your emotions on paper.
2. Self-Reflect On A Daily Basis
According to Psychology Today, you should try to set aside at least 20 minutes a day where you can reflect on your life. A study from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, Founder of the Center For Healthy Living stated that there's a direct correlation between mindfulness and your brain where you become less anxious and angry and more calm. This little hack is better to do than searching Instagram and liking photos. Trust me.
3. Ask A Friend For Their Honest Opinion
"If you have an honest friend, get some feedback. Don't choose the one who is going to sugarcoat it and tell you what you want to hear, as the person who is going to tell you like it is," says Martinez. Good friends are supposed to help build you up and become a better person. Just by simply asking them their opinion on what your strengths and weaknesses are, you can become more self-aware.
4. Ask For More Feedback At Work
While your friends might be able to tell you how to fix your personal strengths and weakness, your coworkers can help you out with your career. According to the Harvard Business Review, CEO and managing partner and founder of Cue Ball Anthony Tjan said, "Provided it is done well, constructive, formalized feedback allows us to better see our own strengths and weaknesses."
5. Stop Being Controlling
Sometimes in order to figure out how to fix and understand some of the problems you may, you just need to let go a little bit (or maybe a lot). According to INC., when you're micromanaging things, you're not pay attention to the true problem, or what's really bothering you. This doesn't help anything, so try not to sweat the little things.
6. Be Brutally Honest With Yourself
Sometimes the best way to find the answers in life is to be completely honest with yourself, even when you don't want to be. According to the Huffington Post, founder of Giant Steps Coaching and an integrative psychotherapist Bradley Foster, MA, said, "Self-awareness helps us cut through our own bullsh*t like a knife. For instance, we say we want to be healthy and live a long life but our behavior might be the total opposite. Awareness is seeing the truth about our behavior, not listening to our excuses or accepting denials."
7. Know What Triggers Certain Emotions
According to Business News Daily, people who are more self-aware can identify what type of emotions they're feeling. Rather than denying or repressing your emotions, try to comprehend exactly what you're feeling and why you're feeling that particular way way before you decide to communicate with others.
8. Analyze Your Thoughts Before You Speak
"Literally wait 5 to 10 seconds before you say something. It will keep you from impulsively blurting things out," says Martinez. This might sound like a long time, but this is especially good to do when you're in a heated discussion. When you analyze your immediate reactions and what feelings cause them, you can more successfully communicate with others.
9. Be Patient
Whatever you do, don't give up. Sometimes it takes someone years to truly figure themselves out. And that's OK. Just remember that the earlier you take time for yourself, the sooner you might understand your emotions. "It takes time, thought, and practice. You have to have situations where you may not act as you would wish, but you are willing to sit back and reflect on how you could change or have done better in the future," says Martinez. "I always say that change works in reverse. First, you will do as you did, but you will catch yourself soon after. The you might catch yourself partway through. Then you might catch yourself right before, and then maybe you stop the habit all together."
Becoming self-aware is part of life. While you might want to spend all your time getting to know other people, it's always best to first know yourself, so you can make the right decisions for your own life.
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