Self-Reflection: Why It Matters For Well-Being

Learn how to self-reflect to improve your wellness

When we want to make positive changes in our lives, it helps to understand the emotional and behavioral patterns that hold us back. Sometimes these patterns are so deeply ingrained in our subconscious that we can’t see, or recognize them as negative influences on our well-being. We need to be able to see into the control room of our minds, beyond the conscious mind, so that we can change some of the programming that no longer serves us. One way to access the unconscious is through self-reflection–i.e., looking at ourselves objectively through a mirror and analyzing what we see or feel so that we can better understand ourselves and how we think, feel, and behave. However, engaging in this type of deep self-reflection can be difficult. So let’s learn how to self-reflect?

What is Self-Reflection?

Self-reflection is a mental process that can help you better understand who you are, what your values are, and why you think, feel, and act the way you do. When you self-reflect and become more conscious of what drives you, you can easily make changes that help you develop your self or improve your life.

Why is Self-Reflection Important?

  • It can give your perspective: Self-reflection can be a powerful tool for gaining perspective, engaging in introspection, and making better decisions about life goals that suit your needs.
  • It can help you respond more effectively: Understanding ourselves better can help us respond to circumstances in more effective ways and avoid saying and doing things we regret.
  • It helps us better understand ourselves and possibly others: Knowing who you are and pursuing a purpose that is true to your nature can help you live a more authentic life.

The Power of Self-Reflection: by Ashley Ta

Setting The Stage for Self-Reflection

We live in a world of constant distractions and demands on our time. It is harder than ever to carve out time for self-reflection. Some people begin their self-reflections with a short meditation, maybe several deep breaths, or some deep breathing to quiet their thoughts. Others prefer to loosen up their minds with an imagination activity or practice a bit of mindfulness before getting started.

If you want to know yourself better, it can be helpful to look within. Asking yourself questions and deep self-reflection may feel like you are trying to tame a raging sea, so talk yourself down and ask yourself questions to get at the heart of your matter. If answers are not forthcoming, then give it some time and return to any thoughts or questions later when you are feeling open. Let busy thoughts fly away and focus on your goal–knowing yourself better.

Identify The “What” of Self-Reflection

Once you feel calm and quiet, direct your focus inward. Choose a particular issue you want to change. Pull up a memory of an important incident.

Ask yourself:

As you focus on this issue; What impressions arise?

How does this make you feel?

What does it make you think?

Identify the “Why” of Self-Reflection

When you are in a state of quiet contemplation, focus on the memory of a pivotal moment from your past. Intend to go back to the most important element related to this memory. What did you feel or think at that time? Now go deeper and ask yourself: Why did you think or feel these things?

When you embark on a self-discovery mission, be prepared for a difficult journey. It is important to take your time and not rush through the process. When you begin to examine your emotions and thought processes, you will find that some of them are not serving you well. It may take time, but eventually you will be able to resolve these issues and live a happier life.

A Year of Self-Reflection Journal: By GG Renee Hill

Observe Yourself with This New Insight

Next, observe yourself living your life in the present. For change to occur, you must first desire it. After identifying any aspects of yourself that you want to improve, take control of your life and gradually shift your behavior in ways that better represent who you want to become. Notice when your unconscious conditioning is controlling you and causing you to feel, think and act in ways that don’t align with your values. Through self-reflection, you can become aware of the programming that leads to these behaviors. Once aware of this programming, you are on the path to authenticity and greater control over your life.

Use Self-Reflection as a Tool for Change

For change to occur, you must first desire it. After identifying any aspects of yourself that you want to improve, take control of your life and gradually shift your behavior in ways that better represent who you want to be.

If the initial approach you took to changing your behavior didn’t work, consider what you may have missed when trying to fix the problem. It’s not easy to change ourselves or our behavior, but keep at it each time a behavior you don’t like surfaces.

Other Approaches to Self-Reflection

Self-reflection can be aided or enhanced by using other tools, like writing or imagination. Find a self-reflection workbook Any notebook will do if you already have questions for yourself. Just write them down an answer them honestly. 

Another approach that is beneficial is the ‘best self’ exercise. This exercise is one that encourages us to become more self-aware and identify where we want to go next in our lives. We learn about our strengths and weaknesses and how to use them properly. The best self exercise is using our imagination to find the best possible version of yourself. Be as specific as possible about what you would like to be in the future. A future where you are truly happy. Spend 10 minutes thinking and writing about your best possible self in the future. When we use our imagination, our brain experiences the things we image as if they are real. So when we imagine the best version of ourselves, our brains can begin to build pathways that support us in becoming that person.

Self-Reflect with Self-Compassion

Don’t judge your past choices. Instead, reflect on them, learn from them, and make whatever changes you feel are appropriate for you in the here and now. As you build new habits through self-awareness, you can become more balanced, healthy, and happy.

I started my Self-Awareness Coaching career to help women create lives they love. I hope to assist you on your path toward greater self-awareness by teaching you how to understand yourself better and make decisions based on an understanding of what you want. With an expert strategy and tailored development plan, we will set realistic goals that you can achieve and use to continue working toward reaching your full potential.

*Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links, meaning I get a commission if you decide to make a purchase through my links, at no additional cost to you. Please read my Terms of Use Policy for more information.

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