We don’t spend time with ourselves for ourselves!
You are Scrolling down on Instagram and see a photo of food and that trigger “WOW, I am hungry”. But what triggers the feeling of being stressed in you? What triggers the anxiety in you?
When suddenly you remember a bad meeting you been into today, a crucial conversation you had with your boss, pending report you did not finish today, financial issues you are facing and so on.
When those thoughts pop-up in mind, what happens next? Self-inner talk starts, and a long dialog starts to take place between you and your self, a small control tower in your brain called hypothalamus decides to send out the order; the stress hormones!
Stress leads to sleepless nights, exhaustion, excessive worry, lack of focus, and irritability. Even physical symptoms – like rapid heart rate, muscle tension, and headaches
If you let yourself with the flow and did not stop to think about all this, you are putting yourself on autopilot mode and allowing those thoughts, behavior and reactions to control you.
How to reduce stress and avoid anxiety?
Ask yourself what triggers the stress in you? What initiates those thoughts and inner talk? How do you feel in that state? How your body reacts? and that what is called Self-awareness.
What is self awareness?
Self-awareness is simply giving time to get along with yourself Understanding your personality, your values, your relationships, and your beliefs. Self-awareness includes understanding how you process your experiences. Ability to manage the self and its feelings, reactions, habits, and behaviors
Why self awareness is important?
Self awareness is one of the most life fundamentals and the most ignored one as well.
It is the awareness of your body responses, thinking patterns and thoughts, including feelings, desires and the way you react. Plus, and most importantly how these relate to each other – awareness of how the mind-body connection reacts with the external world.
As I mentioned if your mind reacts to thoughts in pilot mode, then they control you! If you want to control them, you should focus and identify the triggers as well as how your mind processes them?
Start with the stress and anger moment. Think about;
- what made me stress?
- What I have thought about it?
- What and when this situation happened?
- Who is involved?
- Is it one-off or repeatedly happening?
- How I reacted at this moment? And keep digging deep!
Discovering the trigger and how your mind reacts until it gives the order to be stressed is the self-awareness.
Example, while you are at home watching a movie, then all of the sudden you feel your body getting tense, heartbeat increases slowly, there is a vague image hits your mind about that bad meeting you had with your boss a few days back and in seconds you get stressed and all your mood changes! Let’s reverse it;
- what made me stress? That image about the meeting
- What I have thought about it? How unfair my boss is, he never listens to me, I can’t express my thoughts with him, I cannot even defend my point, and so on
- What and when this situation happened? A meeting with my boss four days back
- Who is involved? My boss
- Is it one-off or repeatedly happening? Yes
- How I reacted at this moment? I freeze, my body got so tensed
Can you see how things became more logical, now what should you do?
Practice self reflection decides what is in your control and what is not and get yourself together to let go.
How to practice self awareness?
Look at yourself independently
See yourself as you really are! Though identifying and writing the following Self-perceptions;
- Things you are good at
- Things need to be improved.
- Things you are proud of.
- Your childhood and what made you happy back then.
- Seek honest feedback from someone you truly trust, about what he/she sees and feels you?
In the end, you will come out with a fresh new perspective on yourself and your life.
Keep a journal.
It sounds an old fashion, but it is proven to be a mind relive and I recommended to my clients in life coaching sessions, writing almost everything you want in a journal relive the mind of those ideas and free up space for new information.
I advise my coaching client to a specific time on the day to write down their thoughts, feelings, ups, and downs for the day. This will lead to self-reflection
Tip: you can use a journal apps which most of them has a password to keep your data protected
Define and set your goals
Dreams without goals are just dreams! That stays in our mind and keep it busy without directions or vision. Turn your dreams or even small things you want to accomplish in the short and long term into a defined SMART goal and break them into sub-goals that make you taste and celebrate small wins. Setting and achieving goals is a lengthy process, so you Download Modealwer app that helps you in creating your life goals, career goals, leadership goals, productivity goals, financial goals, and stay on track. Also,
In order to have self-awareness, performing self reflection is a must. Again I advise my clients during the life or executive coaching sessions to preform self-reflection at least once a day and gradually increase to be done right after an even take place that they feel they need to reflect. For example, an argument took place with their spouse or tough meeting at work. Self-reflection applies to you as a person in any situation you face in life and or as a leader in your organization.
Magic won’t happen overnight; self-awareness is a process just any other process that needs time and commitment. During this process if you got hit by those inner thoughts which you aware it will lead you to stress, change your body state stand up, take a walk, shake your body, etc. start a positive inner talk, tell yourself it does not matter, it does not worth, go more into positive talks where the sky is the limit! That may work especially if you started before a significant emotion take control.