I don’t know about you, but the topic of self-awareness was never something that I thought about. Thanks to my bachelor’s degree, working in the mental health field, and what I am currently learning in grad school, I, now, have a pretty good grasp on what self-awareness means and what it entails.
Self-awareness and I have a love/hate relationship. I love having self-awareness because it allows me to better myself and grow as a person. However, I don’t always love being confronted with characteristics about myself that need improving, but that’s the point of practicing self-awareness.
Self-awareness is unbelievably important, so, I strongly encourage you all to try these 5 tactics that I use to practice self-awareness.
Writing down your inner thoughts is such a crucial step in practicing self-awareness. Something that I believe is worth mentioning is that journaling does not have to only be positive. When you think of journaling, what comes to mind? Writing down what makes you happy? Things you’re grateful for? Yes, these are great topics to write about, but what about when you are just straight up pissed off? Journaling is an excellent form of venting when you are not able to talk to someone. I used to keep a journal that was strictly for flipping out on people, but they never saw it. I would write down the things that I wanted to say, but couldn’t. I cursed more than I’d like to admit and even scribbled all over the page after I wrote on it. I poured my anger, stress, and sadness into my journal and that allowed me to grow from the issues that were bothering me.
I see a therapist every other week, and it has been one of the best decisions I have ever made. I thought I had great self-awareness until I started therapy! My therapist has challenged my thinking about so many different aspects of myself and my life and brought things to my attention that I never realized about myself. I can not express how beneficial therapy can be.
- Do Things By Yourself
Hang out with yourself! It will surprise you how much you don’t know about yourself when you practice this. Many people have a fear of loneliness, or being by themselves, which is unfortunate because they are missing out on so many great benefits that this kind of independence has to offer. You will begin to feel a sense of empowerment and become proud of everything you can do all by yourself. If going out alone isn’t something you can master easily, try doing simple activities like reading a book in a coffee shop, going shopping by yourself, or taking a walk!
- Know Your Triggers
Understanding your triggers can make life so much easier. I practice this step daily, and I have seen a lot of improvement within myself. The best advice I can give is to catch yourself once you are triggered by something. Once you start feeling yourself becoming upset, stop yourself, and begin asking yourself why you are reacting this way.
- Ask Yourself Why
It is very important to know and understand your own story. Think about the people, experiences, or events that have played major roles in your life. These experiences have shaped you throughout your life, which is why it is crucial to understand your story while practicing self-awareness. So, when someone or something has triggered you, ask yourself why you are triggered. Digging deeper into understanding why you are feeling that way will help you decipher if you are feeling emotions based off of the trigger, or if you are feeling emotions that are based on something different and deeper which stems from your life story.
The biggest form of advice I can give, in terms of self-awareness, is do not give up. It is not supposed to be easy and it takes a lot of practice to be able to handle and manage self-awareness, but the good news is:
You can do it.
Olivia has her bachelor’s degree in Human Development & Family Studies, with a minor in Psychology, and she is currently working towards a master’s degree in Social Work. Her dream job is to work with service members and their families to help them navigate through military life and daily challenges. Olivia is a proud dog mom, a die-hard Fleetwood Mac fan, loves margaritas, and is an avid reader, who loves a great murder mystery.